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Gardening project flourishes thanks to FlightPath Fund

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Gardening Leave, a charity which provides gardening therapy for serving and ex-service Armed Forces personnel, has been awarded £5,000 from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.

Established in 2007, the charity provides an important role of addressing the invisible wounds of conflict by providing gardening therapy to its clients. It is estimated around 20% of service personnel carry the invisible wounds of conflict.

Gardening Leave has three main sites in Ayrshire, London and Erskine all offering therapy sessions designed to promote positive changes in the service men and women’s health and wellbeing.

The Glasgow Airport FlightPath’s donation will be used to adapt a plot of land at the charity’s Erskine site into a flourishing wildlife garden. The investment is expected to create new and exciting therapeutic activity for its users, increase biodiversity and create a surrounding which can be enjoyed by all service personnel.

Councillor Sam Mullin of Renfrewshire Council, who sits on the FlightPath Fund committee, said: “Gardening Leave does a marvellous job in providing tailored therapy sessions for our service men and women and I’m delighted the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund is supporting such a worthwhile programme. I spent some time at the charity’s Erskine site and was truly overwhelmed by its work and commitment to improving the wellbeing of their clients.”

Heather Budge-Reid, chief executive of Gardening Leave, said: "Turning an area into a wildlife haven helps veterans heal their invisible wounds. Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund is helping veterans turn this area into a wildlife garden and not only will the local bugs, bees and birds be happier but the veterans will have achieved a purpose that benefits everyone – one of their first steps to recovery.”

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