Garden will enhance college campus and community wellbeing

A ‘Community Wellness Garden’ on the Perth College UHI campus has officially been opened after a grand makeover.

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David Skinn, Distribution Director, Aviva UK GI and Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal

The official Opening Ceremony, held on 26 October was hosted by the Development Trust at Perth College UHI who are managing the Community Wellness Garden initiative.

In 2021, a crowdfunding appeal was launched in conjunction with Aviva Community Fund which raised over £4,000 to begin the project. David Skinn, Distribution Director, Aviva UK GI, was invited to officially open the garden. He explained: “I’m honoured to be asked to open this new Community Wellness Garden on behalf of Aviva and all my colleagues who chose to donate to this fantastic cause. Each year, the Aviva Community Fund supports many charities throughout the UK, demonstrating that by caring more about our communities today, we can create a better tomorrow.

“Aviva has a long history in Perth, and throughout that time we have supported numerous local community initiatives, so I’m delighted that so many colleagues based here chose to back this very worthwhile project to help local people’s mental health which is so important to all of us.”

Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal thanked the Development Trust and donors for their generous support to develop the space. She said: “The horticulture students helped establish the garden, offering them valuable learning opportunities. Enhancing our campus environment will help develop healthy mental and physical resilience in our students and staff, enabling them to succeed in their studies and careers.

“Our community will also benefit as local residents already use the excellent sports facilities at the Academy of Sport and Wellbeing (ASW), but the addition of this new garden provides an attractive outdoor seated area for them to enjoy. In addition, volunteers of all ages will be invited to help care for the space supporting them to make friends, take pride in their local community environment and connect with nature."

Fiona Leslie, Development and Alumni Relations Manager added: “We started the garden makeover back in January 2022 with the planting of two apple trees as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, inviting people to ‘Plant Trees for the Jubilee’. We’re thrilled that the space which was previously a simple paved area situated between the ASW and the Webster building, is now a tranquil green environment space for students, staff and the local community to socialise, relax and rejuvenate. It will also enhance the existing sports facilities for exercise purposes, providing long and short term mental and physical health benefits for our community, student and staff.”

Group of people on campus