The Yardens project (a cross between a yard and a garden) has seen volunteers, experts and staff and residents of Reach Out and Recover (ROAR) working together to transform their shared yard into a beautiful garden. Over two months, Barnaby has run sessions to create a small sanctuary at ROAR’s premises in the town centre. Local businesses, social enterprises and Barnaby volunteers have worked with a dozen residents and staff, led by natural plant expert James Wood and the project is sponsored by East Cheshire NHS Caring Together.
The yard is regularly used by residents and the idea was to create a peaceful space that would aid recovery from addiction. By upcycling materials and with the generous donations of Macclesfield folk and enterprises the costs have been kept down. The yard now boasts large raised flowerbeds, a brick walled border, suspended planters for growing edible plants and herbs – all of which can be easily maintained. A shed has been converted into a ‘gingerbread house’ with handmade decorations, there are inspirational quotes.
Although small, this has been an ambitious project – encouraging creativity, promoting social interaction, bringing people together and sharing skills. Residents from Lime Walk, an NHS service for people recovering from mental illness have built colourful, portable wooden planters, benches and armchairs.
Volunteer organised, Louise Bullock said “The most rewarding part has been getting to know these lovely people and seeing the difference their involvement has made. Everyone has put in a great deal of effort and it really shows”. Judge for yourself when the Yarden opens to the public, 3a Churchside, Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June, 11am-4pm with refreshments and a chance to meet those involved.