A MERRIOTT woman has spoken of her joy of returning to her allotment after recovering from suspected coronavirus.

Verity McLelland from Merriott, works as a manager for Diabetes UK, having lived with type 1 diabetes since childhood.

Verity said she was desperate to return to her double plot in Norton-sub-Hamdon after recovering from a suspected case of Covid-19 in May.

Mrs McLelland, who took several weeks to fully recover from the virus said: “It is my absolute favourite place on earth to be and getting back there was one of the first things I did when I was well enough to leave the house.”

Hooked on growing her own vegetables since cultivating a tiny garden at her first house, Verity took on her initial plot in the Somerset village of Norton-sub-Hamdon five years ago.

She and husband George worked hard to knock the overgrown patch into shape before adding the adjacent plot, ‘an abandoned wasteland’ the following year.

Together they’ve cleared weeds, created lots of beds, got into composting and have also started to grow fruit, something they hadn’t tackled before.

“We spend hours up there and have met so many lovely, like-minded people who have been incredibly generous with their time,” said Verity.

“It’s wonderful to be outside, getting lots of exercise while digging and weeding and entirely focused on the task in hand. Diabetes is relentless but when I’m on my allotment I stop worrying. Being there clears my mind completely.”

Phaedra Perry, regional head of Diabetes UK South West, said: “Making and prioritising time for your mental and emotional wellbeing is an incredibly important, and yet often overlooked aspect of effective diabetes management.

"Feelings of anxiety, depression and burn out are common with diabetes but not spoken about often enough. It’s fantastic for Verity that she has a hobby that allows her to gain some space from constantly having to think about her diabetes.

"And that she, and the South West team, get to enjoy all her fantastic produce too.”

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.

However with the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

You can find the latest advice on Coronavirus and diabetes at diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus.