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Garden brings residents together in Plymouth

4 May 2020
Mervyn and his neighbour out in the garden

The garden at a housing for older people scheme in Plymouth is helping to unite residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gascoyne Court residents are taking time to enjoy a socially-distanced chat in the courtyard at the front of the building, which has 17 flats, most days.

Mervyn Higman, who lives at the scheme, has been encouraging his neighbours to get out and about by maintaining the garden in his spare time.

The 70-year-old said: “I do like to see the garden looking nice and I think it’s something everyone can enjoy.

“Before all this happened, I didn’t know hardly anybody here but people are starting to talk to each other now. People’s attitudes are changing and they seem to be more friendly.”

Mervyn continued: “We sit in the garden and have a chat and I do a bit of gardening as well. I have done the front and I am going to do the back next.

“When all this is over I would like to think we can put a picnic table out there and encourage people to come out and spend time with each other.”

Scheme manager Ali Thompson is also hoping to get a fence put up around the garden in the near future so that residents can enjoy some privacy after the lockdown.

She commented: “It’s been nice to see people coming together to use the garden and I hope they will continue to do so when things return to normal.”


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