Community Fund – Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens – May Update

Latest News: Redevelopment of Royal Edinburgh Hospital Grounds – Public Consultation Closes 28th June

For the past three years the NHS have kindly gifted land at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital for the purpose of Community Gardens.  The project has had a focus on therapeutic gardening and growing while building community and developing skills.  This initiative has improved the lives of many patients, local residents, schools, community and interest groups.


This project has been developed on the understanding that in time the gardens would be relocated within the hospital and plans are moving forward for this change.   NHS Lothian agreed a Mental Health and Well Being Strategy which has the aim of improving services to patients. As part of this a review of the Royal Edinburgh campus is taking place.


As the management organisation, Cyrenians support this work and look forward to participating in the consultation and discussing the possibilities in respect of the location for the Community Gardens and delivering an event with the involvement of the consultants, individuals and groups involved in the gardens.


Last week, the current plans for the hospital redevelopment were announced for public consultation. The NHS is requesting feedback on the current proposals and if you would like to input then please follow the link:

or email (


We will be back in touch with dates for a meeting in the very near future.


The public consultation closes on the 28th June 2013.



May has been a fantastic month with volunteers contributing over 2,000 hours of their time in the gardens. And what a difference they have made – it’s looking just beautiful so thank you so much!


All of our regular volunteers have been working really hard to planting out and maintain the crops in the ground. Four beds of onions have been planted, brassicas positioned, carrots, beetroot, swede and radish have been sown as well as many  salad crops. With over 20 volunteers coming along every week there’s too many to mention but you know who you are and without you the gardens wouldn’t be the wonderful place they are.


P4 classes from Craiglockhart School has been a wonderful help, visiting the gardens every Friday for 12 weeks and really making a difference. They’re beans are starting to grow well and we have just started harvesting lettuce they planted in April.


Helpers generously contributing to “A Community Day to Make A Difference”

This month we also had over 50 people helping out from corporate partners in A Community Day to Make A Difference – promoting community work throughout their organisations. This has included support from Lloyds TSB and Scottish Widows.  So thanks for your help guys, your help has transformed the entrance to the gardens as well as the work on the many metres of paths around the site.


We have also loved having George Watson School in the Gardens this month with regular visit from the Eco-Committee who were keen to make their own fertilizer for their school allotment so we were really happy for them to harvested comfrey leaves from the gardens.


So thank you to everyone who has made a wonderful contribution to the gardens, you really do make it the wonderfully inspiring place it is. So thank you and we look forward to seeing you in June too. Facebook ( Website ( Email (



This month we had to say Good-Bye to Hillary after 2.5 years with Cyrenians. The volunteers insisted we gave her a good send off so on her last day volunteers; Cyrenian Staff and partners from the NHS had a lovely BBQ in the sunshine. So Hillary, thank you so much for what you have done. Hillary’s post as Gardens Manager has now been filled by Hugo Whittaker and we’ll introduce you to him next month when he get’s into the hot seat.

Growing with the NHS

We are delighted to be working with NHS to bring on 600 bedding plants for the grounds of the Western General Hospital. All now repotted, the plants are happy in our glasshouses enjoying the nurturing volunteers are providing.

Monthly Volunteer Feature

Alan has been volunteering at the gardens for just over 2 years now. He heard about the gardens through his friend and thought he would come along. When asked why he visits the gardens Alan told us, “I love getting outside, helping other people, meeting nice folk and getting the sun. I’ve not missed a day since I started because it’s like being with my family!”


We thruely value the contribution Alan and all the rest of our volunteers make within the gardens. We would love you to come along and experience it for yourselves.


We are open Tuesday,Wednesday and Friday so please drop-in any time from 10am – until 4.30pm. Any time you give is always appreciated!

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