Trust Links Growing Together Thundersley is officially open after the Chairman of Essex County Council Cllr John Aldridge cut the ribbon on Friday July 22nd.
Cllr Aldridge said: "I am so impressed to see how a waste piece of ground has been turned into an area of wide pathways, raised beds and tranquillity for the community to enjoy. So many people will benefit from the work that Trust Links does providing therapeutic gardening for those with mental and physical illness and carers who just need bit of a break. Increasingly people are facing challenges in their lives and Trust Links gardens offer respite and that bit of peace and quiet that everyone needs at some point.”
More than 60 people attended the launch with attendees offered the chance to "Plant a seed” in the new potting shed and take it away to grow at home. Castle Point Mayor Councillor Steven Cole said: "We just don’t talk enough about mental health and how it affects people. The work that Trust Links does is so important to get the message out there. I really pushed for this to go ahead as I think it will really be a great benefit for the community of Castle Point so it’s been a pleasure for the council to be able to help and all of my collegues are ensuring that our residents know what a fantastic place this is for everyone to share.”
Leader of Castle Point Council Cllr Colin Riley said: "We are taking the initiative and also looking at the issues of fitness, health and well being. The projects here will include planting and managing the garden and wildlife pond. The potting shed and cabin mean people can learn about and grow healthy food.”
Trust Links Chief Executive, Matt King said: "We are delighted to now have gardens from our Growing Together Shoeburyness site to Westcliff and now Thundersley. We have had so much help and support. The garden is always open and we need volunteers to help care for it and tend it. We plan to run members days, courses on wellbeing, women’s groups, craft sessions but we are small enough to be flexible enough to responde and provide what the community would like to have.”
Veolia North Thames Trust donated funds to help get Growing Together Thundersley underway and its representative Ray Howard said: "Veolia is delighted to have made a contribution to the garden as it’s a project that we believe has all the potential to make a vital difference to peoples’ lives in this area. It’s hands on and caringly thought out in a way that can and will enhance well being for all those working and living here.”
The site offers wide brick pathways for accessibility for those in wheelchairs and raised plant beds for ease. There is a Compost Loo which is in line with Trust Links environmental ethos and the landscape company commissioned to complete the work, Oak View Landscapes donated a 10 foot tree to mark the occasion.