Therapy Garden Brightens Futures

June 14, 2022

A NEW therapy garden for disadvantaged children has sprung to life in the Port City with the help  of $20,000 worth of funding from Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) Port to Park fun run.

Race registrations are now open for Port to Park and GPC is encouraging locals to enter and run  for a worthy cause.

Last August, Gladstone’s Act for Kids was as Port to Park’s community beneficiary; almost a year  later and the funding has brought their local project ‘Safe Harbour Therapy Garden’ to life.

 The therapy garden officially opened this month with community groups including the Gladstone  Men’s Shed pitching in with handmade pieces and Creative Recycling Centre coordinating the  project and creating the artwork.

 The garden now features colourful artwork, a mosaic wall, edible hanging garden, toadstools, a  mermaid sculpture, fairy garden, music wall and even an obstacle course.

Creative Recycling Centre’s Community Engagement Officer Gaetane Chiffoleau said the idea was  to create a colourful, fun place for children to escape. “

A group of us including our artists spent months creating the pieces, a lot of thought went into it  as we tried to use a lot of recycled items,” Ms Chiffoleau said.

“It was a wonderful project to be involved in as we even had a day with some of the children who  attend the service to get them to make a mark on the garden by contributing to the mosaic so it  feels like their space,” she said.

 “It’s certainly a community effort with local businesses like Lowry’s Gladstone and Hopp’s  Upholstery donating material and labour and of course the funding from the Gladstone Port’s  Corporation which has been amazing.”

 GPC CEO Craig Haymes said the funding was all made possible from the Port to Park Fun Run.

“The garden project is nothing short of inspiring and we’re humbled to know it will bring a smile to  those children who have endured suffering and need it the most,” Mr Haymes said.

Last August the garden space at Gladstone’s Act for Kids was bare and grey but has since  undergone a total transformation.

“It’s wonderful to know that community groups have brought the area brought to life and the  funding is all thanks to locals who entered GPC’s Port to Park fun run and ran for the good cause,”  he said.

“It goes to show how important the funding is to these groups which provide a vital service in our  region and we can’t wait to support another worthy group this August with the community’s  help.”

Act for Kids Chief Executive Officer Doctor Katrina Lines said the Safe Harbour Garden is already  having a positive impact on Gladstone children who have experienced trauma.

 “The garden has become a much-loved inclusive, educational and play-based space where children  can feel safe and comfortable with their therapist,” Dr Lines said.

  “Act for Kids is incredibly grateful to the Gladstone Ports Corporation and its Port to Park Fun Run  for funding this special project which means children can receive vital therapy in the outdoor  environment. We know nature is a fundamental to supporting children’s wellbeing.”

“Our organisation is also thankful to the community organisations that have generously helped to  create the garden, including the Creative Recycling Centre and the Men’s Shed for donating  resources and time,” Dr Lines said.

 Previous community beneficiaries of GPC’s Fun run initiative, previously known as the Botanic to  Bridge, have included the Gladstone Hospital Children’s Ward through Give Me 5 for Kids,  Roseberry House, the Gladstone PCYC and the Boyne Island Environmental Educational Centre.

 The Port to Park fun run will be held on 21 August and showcases our port and waterfront  parklands while offering enhanced vantage points and spaces for families and friends to enjoy the  morning.

Early bird race registrations are now open.