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Numurkah District Health Service (VIC)

Katamatite Road, Numurkah VIC

Community Café and Wellbeing Garden 

Karinya, Numurkah Pioneers Memorial Lodge

Residential - Regional - 30 - 79 beds/Consumers

Award descriptors

  • Consumer engagement and/or co-design
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Social participation and lifestyle

Introducing a Community Café and Wellbeing Garden as innovative health promoting activities in residential aged care – with the garden providing a balance of food, therapy and relaxation.

About this program

In November 2015 one of our residential aged care services received a Wellbeing Garden Grant from the Maggie Beer Foundation Wellbeing Gardens Program. Volunteer and community support for the garden was overwhelming and the Garden was officially opened on 10 October 2016 following 12 months of hard work designing, building and planting.

The vision for our garden is to create a beautiful communal space that offers a perfect balance of food, therapy and relaxation The location of the garden allows residents of all abilities visual and physical access at all times; giving them the freedom and choice to use the garden at their leisure. Being in a rural area, many of our residents are connected to farming and the land and had edible gardens to feed their families. The Garden enables residents with dementia to connect with their past and fosters a peaceful familiarity.

Our garden is now providing fresh and seasonal produce which is incorporated into menu planning and resident meals by our dietitians and in-house food services team. Our food services team are ‘leading edge’ in bringing fresh produce to the kitchen and engaging residents in the growing, cooking, meal planning and review programs. Fresh produce from our garden is enhancing the quality, taste, freshness and seasonal variety of resident meals.

Our activities and lifestyle staff incorporate the Wellbeing Garden into their programs. Here are some examples of recent posts on our social media page about Wellbeing Garden activity: “Last week residents enjoyed picking and making a delicious spinach & spring vegetable dip, fresh from our Edible Wellbeing Garden. The dip was on the menu for afternoon tea.” AND “Congratulations to our residents and community volunteers for growing some award winning Silverbeet in our wellbeing garden”.

A key part of the vision for our Wellbeing Garden is to create a communal space for residents, families, volunteers and visitors to use and enjoy. We used our Wellbeing Garden as the platform to launch our Community Café in December 2016. At the Community Café residents, family, staff and community members can enjoy a freshly brewed coffee, tea or hot chocolate prepared by a local business partner who brings their coffee van on-site. The Community Café is now occurring twice per month and rotates between our Wellbeing Garden in one facility and the garden courtyard of our other facility located over the road. This has encouraged residents, staff, family and visitors from both our residential aged care services to visit and interact with each other on a regular basis. The Cafes are also open to community members and community groups which fosters social connectedness.

Our Community Café and Wellbeing Garden are innovative health promoting activities which have seen our residential aged care services provide a role model for our community in edible gardens and the benefits that are gained. At a recent community Food bowl Festival our Wellbeing Garden was used to conduct workshops on teaching locals how to build their own raised veggie gardens.

More information about this program

Sarah Finlayson at or call 0418596442

Friday, 21 December 2018 - 6:32am