An allotment and therapy garden in Lisburn has received a new lease of life with the aid of compost from Natural World Products (NWP).
Northern Ireland’s leading organics recycling firm, headquartered in Dunmurry, partnered with Lisburn YMCA for the project at the Red Gate Therapy Garden.
The company processes food and garden waste collected by local authorities across Northern Ireland, including Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, which it converts into high-quality organic compost.
Sandra McConnell of Lisburn YMCA said:
“We have been looking after the allotment for a number of years and have broadened beyond growing vegetables and flowers.
“Now a therapy garden, it is a place where people can gather, or come to alone, for fellowship or to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
“It has come to provide a great solace or those that use it, both in terms of mental health and physical well-being.”
The garden is used mainly by groups within Lisburn YMCA, Women in Mind, which provides support to those suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, and Lisburn Links, a group for young adults with learning difficulties.
“The therapy garden has really come into its own during the COVID-19 lockdown. Not permitted to meet inside for long periods, we were able to use the space to continue our services outdoors, whether that be doing arts and crafts or simply just meeting together.”
NWP provided its New Leaf Compost product to be used across the Red Gate Therapy Garden.
Patrick Kelly, General Manager, NWP added:
“It has been a pleasure to work with Lisburn YMCA to provide the compost required to maintain their allotment and therapy garden.
“The project is another example of how gardening, and spending time in the outdoors, can have a hugely positive impact on people’s mental health.
“Providing compost to initiatives such as this one is only made possible when local people recycle their organic food and garden waste by putting it in the brown bin. By mixing these together, we can create high-grade compost which is then fed back into the community through projects like the Red Gate Therapy Garden.”
Established in 1989, Lisburn YMCA provides a wide range of services and programmes to young people, working closely with families and vulnerable groups across the city and beyond.
NWP processes 200 thousand tonnes of food and garden waste annually, delivering over half of all recycling across Northern Ireland.