ENTHUSIASTIC volunteers came to the rescue of a Greenock community facility to help save more than 21,000 plants which have now gone on sale.
The plants were already on their way to Broomhill Gardens and Community Hub from the Netherlands when the coronavirus lockdown was announced.
Staff at the Mearns Street centre had been furloughed by then and most of the existing volunteers were shielding.
Realising that, when the plants arrived, there would be simply too much work for the remaining volunteers, Diane McGranaghan, chief executive of Inverclyde Association for Mental Health (IAMH), the charity which runs the hub, put out a call for volunteers on social media and through Volunteer Inverclyde.
The response was tremendous with people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels going along to help transplant the tiny plant plugs into trays and move them around the six commercial greenhouses on the site at various stages of their preparation for sale.
IAMH’s social enterprise In-work have set up a website with a click and collect service and will be opening to the public tomorrow (Friday) with plants laid out in the garden courtyard to enable social distancing.
Diane said: “We are very aware of how lucky we are to have such great volunteers, without whom we would not have been able to get the plants ready in time.
“There was a point in early May when there was a real possibility that many of them would have ended up being thrown in the compost heap.
“The volunteers with their amazing can-do attitude made it possible for us to have plant sales this year after all. So, to all our amazing volunteers I would like to say – thank you; you are all incredible.”
In-Work manage training, voluntary and work-related opportunities for people in the Inverclyde area who have experienced mental health issues or who have experienced long-term unemployment.