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Mission Champion: Greg

Volunteer gardener Greg planting seeds

29 January 2020

Growing a sense of community

In order to grow a plant from seed, you need to place the seed in a stable and warm environment, giving it time to germinate. Once ready, the sapling can be planted, and with regular nurturing, will go on to blossom in their new environment. Companion planting can help strengthen the plant’s resilience and there’s even published research on playing music to your plants to help their development (really!)

Similarly, this nurturing environment can be found in Sacred Heart Mission’s Rooming House Plus Program (RHPP), and it’s no surprise to find our volunteer gardener Greg blooming among the residents and staff alike.

“Sometimes gardening might be seen as something physically small, but it does make a mental and emotional difference to the residents,” Greg says.

Just as the sun brightens the garden bed, Greg’s visits and chats over coffee brighten the days of residents and volunteers. Greg takes particular pride in his ability to cheer up someone who has had a bad day or has chosen to stay in their rooms for most of the week.

“I enjoy hearing the stories and learning about their personalities,” he says.

“I have always wanted to skydive, so listening to one of the resident’s experience in skydiving was great.”

The Mission’s RHPP program aims to break the disadvantage cycle by providing long term-accommodation and supports residents through social inclusion through activities in the broader community.

Arranging flowers and herbs, planting vegetables, creating garden themes and painting are some of the activities which Greg shares with the residents. However, once a week Greg takes off his green thumb and jumps in the studio, helping residents with their art projects installations.

“They find a sense of achievement in creating something together.”

Togetherness is key here, as Greg observes, as at the RHPP we strive to create a sense of community and cooperation through the social inclusion programs.

“Social inclusion can mean something different to each person,” Greg says.

“Sitting and chatting for hours, or standing in silence with a simple shared smile or a nod whilst creating something together.”

Get involved

We always need more volunteers to help support our residents across the Sacred Heart community, so tap the link below and see what it’s all about. Who knows what new friendships and relationships you might grow?

Volunteer with us

Sacred Heart Mission acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Victoria and pays respects to them, their culture and their elders past, present and emerging.


Sacred Heart Mission believes that the diversity of abilities, genders, sexualities, relationship identities, bodies and cultures in our community enriches us all and should be celebrated. Everyone is welcome at our table.