Westcliff is the at the heart of everything we do at Trust Links. Westcliff was our founding project site, and over the years we have transformed the one-acre site from an overgrown dumping ground into a productive growing area for fruit and vegetables, a beautiful flower garden and a community centre for courses, networking and workshops.
‘I felt very isolated and lonely. I had nowhere to go to meet people. I felt I had no support. Thank you because all of that has changed.’
Our members tend the garden alongside staff and volunteers, using therapeutic gardening techniques to improve confidence, overcome barriers to good mental health, get exercise, learn new skills, and have fun with friends. Everything we grow at Westcliff is for sale in our shop (open 9am to 4pm) and we run community events open to the public throughout the year. You can also find the REACH Wellbeing Hub at Westcliff, which provides people with specialist advice from visiting agencies on issues like housing, fitness, benefit, and alcohol and drug abuse.
Our members can access training that will help them in the job market. We offer both longer and shorter courses including a Diploma in Horticulture, and courses on Health and Safety, Manual Handling, Healthy Living, Managing Anxiety, and Managing Depression.
For our volunteers, the work experience they can gain here is a fantastic way to enter the job market and gain in-house training. Growing Together has an incredibly positive impact on our members’ mental health and wellbeing. Our 2020 Evaluation report outlines this work and shows the feedback we have received from our members.