Support in Mind Scotland's Gatehouse project in Golspie, Sutherland, is celebrating the news that Co-op members have raised the grand total of £3,868.66 for local activities including a gardening project planned for 2021.

Over the past 12 months, customers have been making donations to The Gatehouse and other projects and charities that were selected for donations up and down the country, as part of the annual Co-op Local Community Fund. An incredible total £15 million was raised across the United Kingdom.

Thanks to the generosity of the Co-op and its members, we can now look forward with excitement to starting this project at The Gatehouse soon.

Ali McGowan, our Locality Manager for the Highlands, said: "Support in Mind Scotland's staff are excited about the opportunity to expand and improve our garden facilities at the Gatehouse Resource Centre in Golspie.

"We would like to thank the Co-op and all of the Co-op members who generously donated to the project - this support will make a very positive difference to the lives of local people living with mental health issues."

The aim of this project is to develop the garden attached to the Resource Centre. People who access our services enjoy spending time in the garden and report positive effects on their mental wellbeing resulting from gardening activities. 

We plan to use the funding to create two raised beds in the garden; one for flowers and one for vegetables. Produce will be used for soup-lunches for people who access the service. 

We also now plan to create a wooden shelter. Due to restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic we are not currently able to provide face-to-face support indoors in the Gatehouse building, and so most of our Mental Health support is provided remotely, by phone or video-conference.

However we are also offering face-to-face support outdoors. In order to make this service more available and practical we would like to create a comfortable, open-sided, covered shelter with a heating stove, which can be used for outdoor support sessions when the weather is wet or cold. In the longer term this shelter will have other, multiple uses for people who want to work in the garden or simply enjoy spending time there.