Our Growing Together gardens are at the heart of how we help people experiencing mental health problems. We have four therapeutic gardens in Westcliff, Rochford, Shoeburyness and Thundersley, where we bring people positive change through outdoor gardening activities.
Therapeutic gardening uses a specially designed garden to meet the psychological and social needs of users. In addition to its mental benefits, the moderate physical activity needed for therapeutic gardening can help to improve physical health too! To find out more about the benefits of therapeutic gardening, click here, or keep reading to find out more about the Growing Together Project.
I’ve been coming to the gardens since 2013 and I know everyone here – they’re all lovely people, like one big happy family – Fran, Trust Links member
Members can decide what activities to do in our gardens based on their individual needs and abilities. Each garden is different, and you’ll find unique activities and jobs to do at every site. You can tend the chickens and mind the shop at Westcliff, play with the guinea pigs at Shoeburyness, take part in pottery workshops in Rochford and join DIY projects at Thundersley.
Other benefits of becoming a Growing Together member
We run workshop activities at each site to build confidence and improve mindfulness. Members can enjoy music, art, yoga, creative writing, a women’s only group and woodwork. There is also access to vocational training and employment support.
In addition, we work with adults with learning disabilities and dementia. We also sell the produce grown at our site, and run regular community events open to children, young people and families. The gardens have been frequent winners in ‘Southend in Bloom’ and ‘Anglia in Bloom’ competitions.