Sowing the seeds of change

Funding success for CFC allotment

We have secured just under £10K from Awards for All

Our Plan

We want to run a community allotment project with a focus on improving physical and mental wellbeing for individuals and identified target groups such as special schools, veterans, and recovering addicts. We will pay the allotment fee and provide tools, and one of our qualified counsellors will run open sessions where local people can come at no cost to grow fruit and veg, and - if they want - to talk to someone trained to help. We hope to use the fresh produce in our popular community café. The project will be open to the whole community, but we expect a significant number will be from the 1,600 people who access our centre each year for counselling or community groups. This project will give people struggling with poor mental health and/or isolation the opportunity to meet new friends, spend time in nature, and learn a practical new skill: all of which have been shown to improve feelings of wellbeing, self-esteem and personal satisfaction. We will publicise the sessions through social media, and through partners such as GPs, schools, and Trafford Housing Trust. As the sessions will have a therapeutic focus, it is important that they are run by a qualified counsellor equipped to deal with any issues that may arise. He/she will also be responsible for working with service users to shape and evaluate the pilot project over the year. This is a new project for us, but we have already had success in running a social group/creative activities for isolated people as a means of tackling loneliness and depression. Our weekly clubs are little communities with everybody supporting each other with feedback such as “I was spending too much time on the settee and was losing my motivation to do anything but coming every Friday has energised me".

This project meets Awards for All priorities as it will give local people at risk of isolation or struggling with poor mental health the opportunity to come together to meet new friends, learn new skills, and to make a shared space beautiful and productive. We expect that as a result of this project, the people who use our allotment will report that they feel better about themselves, that they are less lonely, and that they have learnt practical new skills - both by growing their own produce and by working as a team. We hope to make the most of an outdoor area that the whole community can enjoy and feel proud of, and to make our community café more environmentally-sustainable through using the local organic produce our community will grow.

Fancy finding out more or even rolling your sleeves up to help? Visit our allotment page >

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