The mental health benefits of gardening are broad and diverse; as well as being a very therapeutic activity gardening also provides social stimulation for our residents regardless of physical or mental health conditions, studies have also shown significant reductions in depression and anxiety and improved social functioning, gardening can be a great way to relax and occupy the mind, and here at Mary & Joseph House residents can work alongside the staff in our award winning gardens, we have recently created allotments in an overgrown and unused area of the garden at Mary and Joseph House so that our green-fingered’ residents can engage in developing raised beds and a polytunnel to grow vegetables and fruit. Activities on offer to our residents include seed sowing to vegetable growing in our allotments as well as other landscape and garden maintenance tasks. Over the years the gardening team have worked in collaboration with the Art Group to help achieve Gold Awards in various Royal Horticultural Society competitions. If you don’t want to get involved, our extensive gardens provide a relaxing and peaceful retreat for those who wish to take time out. As an extension to our horticultural work, we have also engaged in conservation projects working alongside environmental teams across Greater Manchester. We also invite organisations to carry out practical training and educational workshops at Mary & Joseph House. In 2013 we were very proud to receive a Gold Medal and Best in Show at The Royal Horticultural Society Tatton Park Flower Show.