Through our Growing Together projects, located in Rochford, Shoeburyness, Thundersley and Westcliff, we run social and therapeutic gardening to bring about positive change to people experiencing mental health problems. Therapeutic gardening uses a specially designed garden to meet the psychological, social and physical needs of users. We have seen it transform people’s lives.
Members undertake activities in the garden based on their individual needs and abilities, tending the gardens and looking after our chickens and guinea pigs. We also sell the vegetables and plants grown at each site. We don’t just do gardening. Members can also enjoy music, art, yoga, creative writing, women’s only group, woodwork, vocational training and access employment support. We have regular trips and run community events.
In addition we work with adults with learning disabilities and dementia and run partnership schemes and activities for children, young people, schools and families. The gardens have been frequent winners in ‘Southend in Bloom’ and ‘Anglia in Bloom’ competitions.