THE hardy bunch of volunteers weeding and pruning the plants at Carntyne Station are fast becoming experts on a whole range of issues.

Lindsay Marshall, said: "People stop to ask what the flowers are, when the plants will bloom, how we made the planters and where we got the compost from.

"They also ask us what time the next train is - but we can't always help them with that..."

Lindsay and his fellow volunteers are part of NHS Glasgow's pioneering Restart programme, a city-wide project helping people recover from mental health problems.

Restart provides vocational training in gardening, woodwork, picture-framing, art, catering and information technology, as well as giving participants access to personal development and peer support groups.

David McCrae, NHS Glasgow's head of mental health in the north of the city, said: "The aim is to help people rediscover a sense of purpose, to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

"No-one wants to sit around the house all the time, doing nothing - Restart helps people do something meaningful and in the process, gives their lives a sense of structure and focus.

"Our participants come from all walks of life, from retired businessmen and shopkeepers to students, and they are dealing with a range of mental health issues, from depression and anxiety to psychosis."

David added: "We always look for opportunities to get involved with the wider community, because it helps to break down the stigma which still surrounds mental health - and it gives Restart participants the chance to make a difference to their own environment.

At Carntyne Station, in the east end, the difference is remarkable.

For the last few months, Restart has been working with ScotRail as part of the Adopt a Station scheme.

From the barrels of bright blue and pink hydrangea at the bottom of the entrance walkway to the pretty shrubs dotted along both platforms, the station is cheerful and welcoming - and the Restart volunteers are delighted.

Lindsay said: "We worked together to design and build the planters and plant the flowers."

The 55-year-old, from Priesthill, loved gardening when he was younger but since falling ill with mental health issues, has not had the chance to enjoy it as much as he used to.

He said: "The people at Restart are excellent.

"You feel fulfilled working here and when you see that the work you're doing is making a difference to other people's lives, it's really worthwhile."

Fellow volunteer Martin Watson, 46, from Knightswood, agrees.

He said: "I only joined Restart this year but already I am enjoying it and getting a lot out of it."

Now the Restart team plans to turn its attention to nearby Alexandra Parade Station, which is close to the programme's base at Alexandra Park.

Lindsay added: "I'm looking forward to working on the next station. It was lovely when we planted up the containers - one local gentleman came up to me and said he had been using the station for more than 30 years and he was amazed to see the difference the plants made."

ScotRail's Adopt-a- Station scheme finds community or start-up uses for vacant accommodation at railway stations, encouraging local schools, individuals and community groups to help improve the look of them.

Laucnhed in 2005, Carntyne is the 200th adopted station. Other success stories around Scotland include Pitlochry Station bookshop, the Clyde Model Railway Club at Lanark, a community meeting room at Maxwell Park and the East Ayrshire Toy Library at Kilmarnock.

John Yellowlees, ScotRail's External Relations Manager, said: "Adopt-a-Station is about putting stations at the heart of their communities and we are delighted that NHS Glasgow has taken on Carntyne Station.

"Since 2010, Carntyne has been on a through route to Edinburgh, and it's one of the stations at the heart of the area being regenerated ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games."

He adds: "I hope locals and commuters will realise the great work done here, and that Carntyne will become known as the 'Restart' station..."