News & Media

15 May 2017

Garden grows hope in Moe

A dedicated group of volunteers, clients, community members and staff gathered together to launch the Latrobe Community Health Service ‘Grow Hope’ garden last Thursday at the Fowler Street, Moe site.

Monash Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetic Students and Nikki Visser from LCHS
Monash Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetic Students with Nikki Visser LCHS Health Promotion Officer. L to R: Hannah Vass, Nikki Visser, Perissa Amirinia, Stefanie Carino, Seraphina Seow.

A dedicated group of volunteers, clients, community members and staff gathered together to launch the Latrobe Community Health Service ‘Grow Hope’ garden’ last Thursday at the Fowler Street, Moe site. Research on the benefits of gardens in a health setting show they play an important role in reducing stress for both clients and staff.  The ‘Grow Hope’ garden in Moe will provide an area for relaxation, skill building and allow people to learn how to grow and harvest their own food.

“Everyone has worked hard to transform an empty space into a functioning garden that will provide an area for clients, staff and visitors to enjoy,” said Ms Christina Rush, Manager Primary Prevention at Latrobe Community Health Service.

“By encouraging exercise, stimulating the appetite, improving moods and increasing vitamin D levels, our garden will assist in the healing process.  Just getting your hands dirty and watching your effort become something useful is a worthwhile experience,” continued Ms Rush.

The food growing garden will be available to staff, clients and volunteers to use as part of their programs, and with time excess produce may be sold at local farmers’ markets. The garden is the result of the hard work of four Monash Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics Students undertaking a nine week placement within the Primary Prevention team at Latrobe Community Health Service.  The students led the design and implementation of the garden, learning a lot about public health along the way.

“The benefits of gardens in a health setting are well recognised, and through our garden, we are giving clients, community members and staff a chance to connect with nature and experience all the positives that brings,” said Ms Rush.

For more information or to register your interest to work in the garden, contact the Volunteer Program at Latrobe Community Health Service on 1800 242 696 or email volunteers@lchs.com.au.