Silver linings – what covid-19 has taught us

In a short blog post Chair of Trustees Vicky Wyer considers some of the positives that have emerged over the last year:

This is the year the Triangle Garden should have been celebrating its 20th anniversary and the Pavilion its 10th. However it’s never good to dwell on what might have been, and a missed anniversary is a very small problem to have had. Let’s focus on the positives:

So, what have we gained from this year of loss and trauma? What are the silver linings to Covid-19? For me there are two things that stand out: the massive public awakening around the importance of nature in our lives, and the significant re-evaluation of the contribution made by those who work in care.

We were all no doubt made quite emotional by the ‘clap for carers’ initiative in streets across the country during lock-down. But how will that sentiment manifest itself in terms of carers’ pay in the months to come; most carers only receive the national minimum wage, even in a wealthy, expensive county like Hertfordshire. We are incredibly lucky to have a highly skilled and experienced team of people running our sessions, and we pay them well over the living wage, but I do wonder whether it’s right that a cleaner can earn more than a trained horticultural therapist. These strange times bring our values into sharp focus.

Which brings us back to the value of nature in our lives. Since the enforced curtailment of normal life we have become much more aware of the seasons and natural activity around us. People have rediscovered walking, cycling, gardening, foraging and just the therapeutic benefits of being outside. And nature has reacted too – to the lack of traffic, the reduced air pollution and the hiatus in human interference – by proliferating in unprecedented ways across the world.

So if we’re wise we’ll view this as a wake up call to put a value on nature beyond economics, and to work hard to prevent the collapse of the ecosystems that support us.

But what has this got to do with the Triangle Garden I hear you ask? Well it’s what we’re all about:

Our vision: A community where people feel happier and more fulfilled through a connection with the natural world and an understanding of our place in it.
Our values:
Connect – bringing people together through gardening and nature
Grow – helping people to develop and learn by sowing the seeds of interest in a healthier and more sustainable world
Enjoy – making lives better – with a smile!
Respect –  caring for our planet and valuing people for who they are and what they do.

I’d like to finish by paying tribute to all those in our wonderful Triangle Garden community – to our staff, trustees, volunteers, gardeners, participants and supporters. Without your dedication, care, determination and resilience, the Triangle Garden and its projects would be a very different place. Thank you

Vicky Wyer,  Chair of Trustees

The image is of some of the gardeners, staff, volunteers, trustees and family members who attended our tenth anniversary Growing Ability Harvest Lunch in 2019