Bristol After Stroke Gardening Group sows seeds of recovery

February 25 2019

RECOVERING from a serious health problem such as a stroke can take time, patience and practice, as once simple tasks may have to be re-learnt.

One local group have found a way to make recovery more fun as they meet weekly to chat over a cuppa and do gardening tasks such as planting seeds and bulbs or potting on seedlings.
Performing gardening tasks helps with co-ordination and regaining confidence. And working with growing things can cheer the spirits, especially when done with friends – and in a nice warm room!
The Frenchay Stroke Gardening Group was set up over 40 years ago but had to find a new home when Frenchay Hospital closed. Through a chance meeting with Steve Powell who was working in the churchyard at Christ Church Downend, the idea of using the church as a venue came about, and now the group is able to use the aptly named Garden Room as part of the re-ordered church.
Gardening outside is not always practical for those who have experienced a stroke so an inside venue with enough space to work is ideal. And there are some large window sills tucked away in the church balcony, just right for seeds to germinate in their own time and flourish when they are ready.
One group member said: “The group provides the opportunity to meet and make new friends and acquaintances, which helps to compensate for their loss during, and after suffering a stroke."
Another member, John, said he loves the social side and planting up plants. He is glad to make new friends, meeting others with similar disabilities.  “Everyone is so friendly,” he says.
The group is now known as the Bristol After Stroke Gardening Group.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the group, please contact Gill Deacon. gilldeacon@bristolafterstroke.org.uk  0794 3749994