Family interview: Veterans community garden project

9 Jul 2024

Why is the Gordon Messenger Centre (GMC) – a military community hub based at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon – of such value to all who use it? 

As we count down to the impending construction of a garden here, we’ve spoken to some of those who use it, to find out…

Paige Buchanan, from Topsham, has been married to a Royal Marine for eight years, during which time they’ve lived in Germany, Plymouth and Lympstone, and are off to America this summer. The 32-year-old first came to the GMC with her first son, who was two at the time, during covid when her husband was posted to Afghanistan. 

“When your partner’s away for such a long time, everything is on you, and this can be heavy,” she says. “The Pandemic months were a particularly isolating time, so coming here was the light I needed each week. 

“We usually move every two years but we’ve been here for four, so I’ve made so many good friends. I have friends from the school run and nursery, but here, because everyone’s in the same boat, people know what you’re going through and it lightens things a bit when your husband’s away.”

***The GMC June Best Sanctuary Garden, located at the Gordon Messenger Centre (GMC), a tri-service community hub at CTCRM, Lympstone, has been sponsored by SSAFA Devon The Armed Forces Charity, thanks to a generous legacy gift by former SSAFA Devon volunteer June Best. It is being built by volunteers from the military community, for the military community, and delivered by Splash Projects. Further substantial sponsorship has come from RMA-The Royal Marines Charity (donated as a legacy gift by a former Royal Marine through the Tavistock Freemasons/Sanctuary Lodge), with significant additional support from Vistry Group.*** 


Can we help with your team building project?