Growing Together Shoeburyness is just one of our therapeutic gardens in South East Essex, and has benefitted from a rapid transformation. Our Women’s Group meet every Wednesday at the site on Elm Road to enjoy the garden and partake in new activities, and they recently welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress of Southend-on-Sea to join them for tea and cakes.
Southend Mayor, Cllr Derek Jarvis, said "We were delighted to be invited to join the Women’s Group to celebrate International Women’s Day. It is wonderful to see the transformation of this former piece of wasteland.”
He continued "I have been associated with Trust Links since its inception at the garden in Westcliff, and have been amazed at the way they have spread their wings to other sites around Southend, Rochford and Castle Point. We would certainly recommend residents in the East of the town visit Growing Together Shoeburyness in Elm Road. Trust Links can be very proud of this development ”
As well as a Women’s Group, Growing Together provides therapeutic gardening opportunities for people living with mental health problems and learning disabilities, and is host to local schools that visit for outdoor learning. The women that attend on a Wednesday advocate the importance of outside space in everyday wellbeing and the benefits of groups such as theirs.
Growing Together Shoeburyness is home to our pet Guinea Pigs and those that visit can find shelter from the harsh elements in our warm and inviting cabin. Alison, 60, from Shoeburyness has been coming to the Women’s Group for around 4 years and enjoyed showing the Mayor and Mayoress around the grounds and says it gives her a safe space when she is feeling low. She said "everyone is so friendly and you know that however you feel, everyone is very accepting"
Also joining the group for International Women’s Day celebrations was Cllr Nigel Folkard and Cllr Roger Hadley who enjoyed hearing about some of the other projects that take place at Growing Together Shoeburyness. We are keen on upcycling and are in the process of building some new garden furniture out of old pallets. Anna Ostler, our Garden Coordinator said, "as well as creating a beautiful hand crafted garden, learning woodwork can give people a real confidence boost and is great for personal development. We are always grateful for donations of wood, pallets and new tools, and will put all donations to good use!”
For more information about Trust Links, or to find out how you could get involved and make a difference to local people, call 01702 213134 or visit www.trustlinks.org.