ANGLESEY's older generation are picking up their trowels and forks to fight loneliness at a newly opened community garden.

Gorwel, a support service helping vulnerable people, launched the project in Llangefni, with the aim of reducing loneliness in older people.

The garden, run in partnership with Anglesey Council, has opened following months of preparation from volunteers, including residents who raised £360 at their local ASDA supermarket.

Pupils from special educational needs school Canolfan Addysg y Bont also tended to the allotments and builders merchants Jewson’s donated a shed.

Osian Ellis, assistant manager at Gorwel, said: "As older people don’t always have the chance to enjoy a garden at home, this space is ideal for them to be outdoors in a friendly and welcoming environment.

"We came up with the community garden idea after speaking to our regular participants, who suggested the idea of having somewhere to be active.

"There’s no obligation to do any gardening – it’s also a social centre for people to enjoy and feel part of.

"Beyond that, we want it to act as a preventative measure against mental health issues like depression, which the older generation can suffer from without regular chances to get out and socialise.”

Rhun Ap Iorweth AM, who recently visited the site, added: "This is a great initiative and another example of the vitally important work Gorwel do to help some of the most vulnerable in our community.

"It is a great opportunity for residents to be more active, to socialise, and perhaps do a bit of gardening as well, and Gorwel deserve every credit for what is sure to be a very important and positive addition to the work that they do for their residents."

Gorwel, a unit within Grŵp Cynefin housing association, is available to social and private tenants, as well as owner-occupiers.

The organisation’s main focus is to provide support services in the field of domestic violence and homelessness prevention. Its projects include refuges, supported housing schemes, children and young people services, support in the community and independent domestic violence advisory service.

The Supporting People programme provides housing-related support to help vulnerable people live as independently as possible. It supports more than 57,000 people a year, with 37,000 of those older people.

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