Dudley Council have been working with Dudley Mind (a mental health charity) on using horticulture to engage with those who are struggling, and providing opportunities for health improvement. Two problems have been tackled in a creative partnership: halting the decline of an historic garden and reaching people with a new mental health service. A beautiful walled garden has become home to ‘Growing in the Park’
Mind have researched the importance of the natural environment (eco-minds project). Outside, in the fresh air, watching the Seasons change, close to nature, enjoying the satisfaction of growing your own plants and food, some company, learning, shared knowledge, a good sprinkling of laughter. That’s our recipe for wellbeing.
Words from volunteers:
- “When you’ve been out of work for a long time with depression, you forget how to work with other people. It wasn’t easy at first … I wondered if I could do it, but I’ve gotten more confident now”
- “I wouldn’t really speak to anyone all week if I didn’t come here. I love it.”
- “When I couldn’t get the (suicidal) thoughts of my head … I could concentrate on simple jobs and keep it all away”
- “I’m digging my way out of depression.”