Juniper Carramar Residential Aged Care Home has unveiled a new garden installation thanks to the collaborative efforts of Bunnings and the Lions Club of Noranda. The project aimed to provide a beautiful and accessible space for residents, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of gardening and nature.

The idea for the project was born from Janet Spellissy’s personal experience while visiting her mother, Elsie Smith, at the home. Janet noticed that many residents, including her mother, faced challenges in experiencing the joys of gardening due to mobility issues caused by walkers and wheelchairs.

“We wanted to make a difference in the lives of these residents who sometimes struggled to ‘smell the roses’ due to their limited mobility,” Janet said.

“As members of the Lions Club of Noranda, my husband and I presented the project at one of our meetings, and it was unanimously decided to support and fund it ourselves. We approached Bunnings Malaga and Bayswater with whom we have a strong relationship, for assistance with product ideas. To our delight, Bunnings offered funding and volunteered to help with the installation as part of their community engagement program,” Janet added.

The Lions Club of Noranda also pledged to fund and paint the gazebo at a later stage, once weather conditions permit. Such community-driven initiatives hold great significance for the Lions Club members, as they understand the positive impact on an individual’s mental and physical health.

The collaboration between Bunnings and the Lions Club of Noranda has been met with enthusiasm and gratitude from staff and residents of Juniper Carramar. Juniper Carramar therapy assistant Alison Robert expressed her appreciation for the ongoing support received from Bunnings and the community.

“We already had a brick planter near the activity area that we replanted seasonally, using the no-dig method this year,” Alison explained. “We also have an old worm farm donated to us last year, which the residents look after, producing vermicompost from our food waste. With the new garden beds, the residents now have more opportunities to engage in gardening activities and contribute their expertise.”

Residents actively participated in selecting the plants for the garden, drawing on their rich backgrounds in gardening and farming. A resident who is a retired farmer takes charge of watering the plants and played an integral role in choosing and planting the various flora. The shopping trip to Bunnings also allowed residents to involve their family members, creating cherished family memories.

Reflecting on the importance of the project for the residents, Alison emphasised that visiting Bunnings holds a special significance for them.

“Going on a trip to Bunnings represents a sense of normalcy and joy,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for them to catch up with loved ones and do something typical of the Australian culture. It also means we have a lot of work to do in the garden, which excites everyone.”

This visit to Bunnings marked the third time the residents of Juniper Carramar had the chance to explore the store. Bunnings accommodated the residents by providing a dedicated parking area within the trade section and assisting with loading purchases onto the bus.

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