HOBART is home to many older people who are passionate gardeners, but sometimes keeping active in their own garden can be challenging.
The Still Gardening Program sees local volunteers offer older community members a helping hand, assisting them to stay active in their own gardens.
Still Gardening Program officer Deborah Stroh-Reilly said too often the pressure of not being able to maintain their garden could force older people out of their own homes and into care.
“By assisting our older community members with a ‘Garden Mate’ we are giving them a chance to continue doing what they love – getting their hands dirty and enjoying the outdoors,” she said.
Garden Mates are dedicated and inspiring volunteers of all ages who work one-on-one with older people in their backyards, helping with difficult jobs such as weeding, pruning and lifting heavy weights.
They’re good listeners and patient, helpful companions in the garden.
Garden Mates offer friendship and support for older people – they work with them, not for them.
“By working with an older person, you will help them to feel safe and confident to get outside,” Ms Stroh-Reilly said.
Volunteers are supported with an induction, first aid training, skills-based workshops and reimbursement for travel.
To join the Garden Mates team, visit hobartcity.com.au/gardenmates or phone 6236 9349.
The Still Gardening Program is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Caption: Garden Mates Jan Ross, left, and Mai Dunne.