PGRs Get to the Root of Well-Being

Researchers at UofG have been tending to UofG’s Community Gardens on Viewfield Lane in an effort to maintain a healthy mindset and create a communal green space for staff and students to enjoy.

The PGR Community Gardening project is an initiative lead by Researcher Development who developed the idea through their continued efforts to find alternative ways of promoting ‘PGR Self Care’ and offering more opportunities for researchers to socialise with colleagues from across the University.

‌‌PGR Gardening

Those who would like to get involved can visit the UofG PGR Community Pages.

UofG Goes Green

In collaboration with UofG Sustainability and GUEST, the weekly lunchtime gardening session was initiated with an aim to transform the University gardens into a luscuious green space that all of the UofG community can enjoy whilst offering a theraputic activity for researchers.

The gardens are nestled behind Wellington Church on University Avenue and are jointly managed by UofG Sustainability and GUEST. The lunchtime sessions have seen the gardens adorned with TLC and garderners have been laying the foundations to grow fresh produce that they hope to supply catering services with at the Fraser Building.

Since PGR Community Gardening began in September 2017, its popularity has grown with more and more researchers wishing to participate.  Those involved have praised the scheme for the sense of achievement that comes with it and the opportunity to meet fellow researchers.

Impact

Suzy Whoriskey, a third year PhD in Statistical Genetics, said: “Up until now, I’d only ever really met postgraduates within the College of Science & Engineering. Coming to the sessions I’ve been able to chat to other postgraduates whilst doing something relaxing and fun.

“I get to socialise with the students, the gardening and sustainability team  - which is lovely - and as we chat, we dig up weeds, lay some bark, we help transform the gardens to look pretty and inviting.”

Dr Elizabeth Adams, Research Development Manager, said: “Sometimes you might not think you are making a lot of progress in your research project so to come along and see the direct impact you are having on the University gardens through weeding or digging, is a really positive attribute of these sessions for researchers.”

As well as promoting well-being and physical activity, the gardening sessions aim to educate volunteers about the benefits of growing your own produce and draw attention to the recently launched UofG Sustainability Strategy.

UofG’s Sustainability Officer, Stewart Miller, said: “I think the gardens are very much in line with the Sustainability Strategy – particularly our Sustainable Food Agenda – promoting the benefits of growing food a bit closer to home and teaching others how to grow their own vegetables.

“We are actively trying to encourage biodiversity and so will be planting out the edges of these gardens with flowers and shrubbery to help facilitate that.”

It is hoped that more researchers will be enthused to sign up to these sessions to don their greenfingers and socialise with fellow PGRs.


First published: 17 November 2017