Leading Edinburgh-based health and wellbeing charity Thistle has submitted detailed plans to City of Edinburgh Council for the development of new ‘Garden Rooms’ adjacent to its existing Centre of Wellbeing in Craigmillar.
Established in 1944, Thistle is an independent charity which provides support for people living with long term health conditions such as MS, arthritis, depression, chronic fatigue or post-traumatic stress disorder. Offering support for people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Thistle takes a ‘person-centred’ approach, meaning that the focus is on the person rather than their health condition or situation.
As demand for Thistle’s support continues to grow, the charity proposes replacing its existing Garden Suite, a 1950s building which has begun to deteriorate and is no longer fit for purpose.
The announcement of the new building plans coincides with ongoing preparations to celebrate the Thistle Foundation’s 75th anniversary on Friday 7th June this year.
Around 2,500 people currently visit Thistle’s Centre of Wellbeing each month and the existing Garden Suite building is already heavily used for a range of courses, classes and groups who have been closely consulted about the design of the new Garden Rooms, undertaken by award-winning architecture practice 3DReid.
The new building will include 140m2 of activity space with windows facing onto a redesigned and newly landscaped community garden, a communal kitchen, a craft workshop and a dedicated studio for yoga and tai chi as well as a special meditation and mindfulness space to be located in a quieter area of the building.
The Thistle village where the new building will be located is a designated conservation area and special care has been taken to ensure that the building is designed sensitively and in keeping with its surroundings and has minimal impact on neighbours.
Although a planning application has now been submitted to City of Edinburgh Council and a decision on the application is expected later this year, work on the new building is not due to commence until 2022.
Chief Executive of the Thistle Foundation Diana Noel Paton commented:
“We are very excited about these plans for a brand new purpose-built ‘Garden Rooms’ adjacent to the Thistle Centre of Wellbeing in Craigmillar. Demand for our services continues to grow and the well-used existing Garden Suite building is now coming to the natural end of its useful life.
Redeveloping the Garden Suite into a specially designed community-focused space will enable us to support even more people living with long-term health conditions with a variety of peer-led classes and courses designed to help their mental and physical wellbeing.