With National Lottery investment, West Dunbartonshire Council has brought the historic features of Levengrove Park back to their former glory. A new café and toilet block has been built, and volunteers have helped to improve its landscapes and biodiversity.
West Dunbartonshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership run a Work Connect Specialist Employment Service for people who experience poor mental health, people in recovery from addiction and people with learning disabilities.
“It’s something that’s helped bring me out of the place I was in."
- Work Connect client
The restoration works have provided them with a larger, purpose-built training suite where classes include gardening, cooking, hospitality and marketing.
Since opening in May 2019, the service has supported 48 clients and six volunteers. They've put their new skills to good use throughout the park, including in its new café and vegetable plots.
“It definitely helps your wellbeing. It keeps you fit and helps your mindset.”
- Project volunteer
Levengrove’s volunteers are also benefiting from the restoration works. One commented: “It definitely helps your wellbeing. It keeps you fit and helps your mindset.”
Thanks to their support, working with West Dunbartonshire Council’s Greenspace Department, the park’s visitors now have a range of activities to choose from, including:
- guided walks
- arts & crafts
- horticultural workshops
- storytelling sessions
- pony rides
- sports days
- knitting groups
- lunch clubs
In the project’s evaluation, 94% of visitors agreed that the park enhanced their quality of life, and 91% agreed that the park is important for their health and wellbeing.