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Meet Archie Potts...

Archie Potts is a truly remarkable gentleman. A dedicated volunteer at Charnwood Lodge Dementia Care Home in Dumfries & Galloway, green-fingered Archie gives his every hour to making sure the gardens and grounds of the home give the residents a therapeutic area to enjoy. Building flower beds in summer, shovelling driveways in winter, and all for just a cup of tea in return. But what makes Archie’s story truly special? He does all this at the tender age of 87…

A retired insurance broker, Archie spent ten years as a carer for the wife of a dear friend, after promising he would look after her when his friend passed away. When she became a resident at Charnwood Lodge, he decided to give something back to the Care Home that took such wonderful care of his friend, and for the last year, has devoted himself to turning Charnwood Lodge’s outside area into a beautiful space.

Nicknamed ‘Iron Man’ by staff, Archie can often be found arriving at 5am to make the most of the home’s extensive gardens – weeding, cutting back trees, relaying paving stones, cleaning paths, gritting walkways, raking leaves, painting furniture – nothing is too much trouble for Archie. He’s also known for popping in on the weekends to make sure his precious flower boxes and hanging baskets are being tended to!

His commitment to Charnwood Lodge has more than paid off – residents can now enjoy spending time outside in a relaxing and positive environment. One particular resident found life in a care home difficult, becoming frustrated and anxious having lived a very independent life before his dementia diagnosis. This gentleman in particular has felt the benefits of landscaped and accessible gardens, enjoying the freedom the garden gives him to walk around and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds.

Away from the gardens, he spends hours chatting and laughing with residents, joining in with group activities such as music therapy and art classes. A passionate and inspirational man, Archie’s only motivation to give his time to Charnwood Lodge is to bring happiness to the residents there. “As long as I’m making a difference, I’m happy”, he tells the manager.