Scope has partnered with Geelong East Men’s Shed (GEMS) and Bunnings to create a kitchen garden program for people with a disability at Shannon Park Lifestyle Options in Newtown.

Bunnings Waurn Ponds is donating a 1.8m long elevated mobile vegetable garden bed, soil, plants and gardening tools. With the help of GEMS and Scope staff,they will assemble the garden and deliver a workshop on sustainable living. The garden will accommodate wheelchairs, meaning more people will gain access to satisfying fresh food while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The idea sprouted from Scope staff who work closely with clients at The Grinter Garden – a community garden in East Geelong. That garden is not accessible to everyone so it was decided an additional, more inclusive garden would be built at Shannon Park.

“This initiative complements what The Grinter Garden provides but on a smaller, more intimate scale,” said Amanda Handley, Customer & Service Delivery Manager, Scope Barwon.

“The people we support can maintain this kitchen garden without being overwhelmed by a large plot and they can be responsible for what they grow and cultivate and choose to cook with what they grow.”

The Grinter Garden has inspired many people Scope supports to pursue a healthy lifestyle through gardening and adopting lifelong healthy eating and living habits.

This partnership builds on a relationship that has grown between Scope and Bunnings since 2010. It would not be possible without the ongoing assistance from GEMS, which provides support with individualisation projects centred around assisting people with disability, including DIY activities and small scale hobby and painting projects.

The mobile vegetable bed and gardening equipment can be viewed at Scope Shannon Park, 2 – 10 Balcombe Road, Newtown, where staff and people with a disability will work steadily over the coming weeks.