Gardening providing no barriers between ages

Gardening providing no barriers between ages

Baptcare, sponsors of the Melbourne International Flower and Gardening Show, have introduced a Garden Club for some of their In-Home Care clients within the Western suburbs of Melbourne.

Whilst visiting clients, Baptcare Western In-Home Care Chaplain, Penny Davis and Diversional Therapist, Jennifer Puxley were hearing that a loss of being able to garden, be this through advice from a doctor due to a possibility of falls, and not being able to get up, or poor health and living arrangements with no viable space for a garden was a common theme facing many of their clients.

Through Baptcare’s work supporting their western area clients, including one with younger onset dementia at the Westvale Community Centre, a working relationship was developed with the team leader Ellen Kessler where it was discovered that part of the work the centre does is a community garden. Ellen’s aim is to further develop partnerships with community organisations to develop relationships and allocate garden plots for particular groups.

Baptcare was fortunate to be offered a sizable garden plot at the centre to use with our clients and run group and individual gardening therapy – which began our Gardening Club!

Two clients who tend to the garden each week, are Fred* a gentleman with younger onset dementia and Mary* an elderly Greek grandmother. They have come together due to a love of gardening, the chance to share knowledge and it provides them with a sense of value within their community.

“Mary is unable to cook and clean anymore due to her health, so to watch her tend to the garden and provide hints & tips to all around is wonderful. She has become the brains of the garden club, with Fred being the muscle, but he has also shown his delicate touch, especially when it comes to planting the new bean seedlings” said Penny.

Raised garden beds, tools and equipment including some made for arthritic hands, soil and some initial plants/seeds were funded by a mission grant, ensuring the garden club is working within the Baptcare values of wellbeing, co-creating and respect.

The Garden Club has been planting vegetables, herbs, and aloe vera and it is hoped that once the vegetables mature that they can be used in cooking classes at the Community Centres kitchen. This would provide an extra sensory experience for the clients and other organisations who use the centre.

At Baptcare, our mission is to partner with people of all ages, cultures, beliefs and circumstances for a fullness of life and we feel that safe gardening practices which is key to our Gardening Club not only helps our client’s sensory skills, but also provides them with a sense of purpose, of belonging and something for our clients to take pride in, which is why we continue to sponsor the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

*Names have been changed to protect their identities.

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Baptcare joins National Redress Scheme

Baptcare Victoria and Tasmania has joined the National Redress Scheme to provide acknowledgement and support to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The Scheme was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts and can provide people with access to: counselling;a payment; anda direct personal response from the institution (for example an apology) for people who want it.The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years. Baptcare has now joined the Scheme, which means that if there are people who were abused in the care of Baptcare, they can apply to the Scheme for redress. Baptcare also represents the following defunct institutions: Abercare (Price Street, Essendon), Abercare (Buckley Street, Essendon), Abercare (Niddrie), Abercare (Keilor), Abercare (Moonee Ponds), Westside Children’s Home, Heathmont Family Group Home, Boronia Family Group Home, Baptist Social Services, Baptist Community Care Ltd. We believe it is vitally important to endorse and join this Scheme, supporting people who have experienced abuse. People can apply now using an online or paper form. Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available throughout the process. For more information, visit or call the National Redress Scheme line on 1800 737 377. -ENDS- About BaptcareBaptcare is a purpose driven organisation focused on delivering the best of care to people of all ages, cultures, beliefs and circumstances. Through our social enterprise model, we deliver better outcomes for more than 13,000 people in our community, combining the best commercial practice with a social a heart. Baptcare has more than 3,000 dedicated staff across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to deliver the best of care to people in Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living, In Home Care, Family and Children Services, Affordable Housing and Disability