Businesswoman and nature lover Vinny Piscopo tells Daniela Allen about the project

One of the things that has uplifted the moral of many during the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been the love and appreciation for nature.

At a time when mental health has become more important than ever before, experts advise on going out in the countryside and getting as much ‘fresh air’ as possible. Absorbing the natural environment and the colours of nature are soothing to the eyes and comforting to the mind.

Yet many of those who have not had access to outdoor space during this difficult time have filled their homes with plants, which may give a sense of hope and longing to feel the freedom once again.

In perfect timing, the Research Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT) at the University of Malta launched a spring initiative, in collaboration with one of Malta’s leading garden centres, to raise funds for research through its Superhero Campaign.

Piscopo Gardens and Pet Shop have embraced the campaign to support research related to medical conditions affecting children. This is happening at a time when the search for quality of life and well-being is at the forefront, as the world is increasingly aware of the crucial value of research to cure disease.

People are understanding what really matters in life. To me, it’s family and nature

Businesswoman Vinny Piscopo, who loves nature and life, is behind this enterprise and is committed to match every donation that the public will give towards the university’s research campaign.

“I love the idea that as Piscopo Gardens, we can actually help during such times. Research is vital in finding a cure for ongoing battles which, unfortunately, many have to face,” Piscopo says.

Vinny PiscopoVinny Piscopo

“Children are our future, if we can protect them and make them live a better life, then, I believe we are doing something right while we are on this planet.”

Through the Superhero Campaign, “my team and I feel that our efforts and daily work are going towards a great cause to help children. Please visit us at Piscopo Gardens and donate €1, €2 or €5 and as a company we will match your donation. Everyone can make a difference.” 

Piscopo Gardens was established in 1994 and has been growing ever since. It has the largest selection of plants on the island, combined with a large range of garden products, pet food and pet-related items.

As she runs this large business, Piscopo refers to the work-life balance and says she has learnt not to allow stress to take over.

“I unwind when I spend time playing with my beautiful son and take long walks by the sea or countryside.”

She says surrounding yourself with people who love you and make you happy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, she says: “People are understanding what really matters in life. To me, it’s family and nature. We have realised that the many things we might have been taking for granted are actually helping us live a better life. Once these were taken away from us, we appreciated how truly important they are.” 

At work, she and her team strive to educate and teach anyone who’s interested in taking up gardening as a hobby as well as to nurture a love for animals. She adds that it is a breath of fresh air to be able to be surrounded by nature 24/7.

“Many of our clients visit us to be able to relax because our environment is truly a unique one, having such a large amount of plants all in one place,” she points out.

With Mother’s Day just round the corner, the garden centre is geared up to the brim with many unique and different products.

Visit the Piscopo Gardens Facebook page or their centre in Burmarrad, which is open seven days a week. Every purchase made until the end of June will help support the Superhero Campaign for children’s research.

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