"Community Garden transformed by Social Inclusion and Wellbeing volunteers"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient)

(as a volunteer/advocate),

As a volunteer for the Social Inclusion and Wellbeing Service I went to visit the community garden project in Forest Fields today. This project has a group of volunteers on Monday mornings to transform the overgrown and weed-infested grounds to a community garden, with areas to grow vegetables.

I had the opportunity to talk to a number of these volunteers about how they find working at the gardens. One volunteer said that he found it a wonderful opportunity to get out and about, meet people rather than being at home and feeling isolated and alone. He said he found that loneliness is a killer. Another volunteer said that he found working at the community garden has really helped him by making him feel useful, that he is giving something back. The volunteers are being supported by the Social Inclusion and Wellbeing service, who are working in partnership with Nottingham City Council.

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Response from Julie Swann, Team Leader, Social Inclusion and Well-being Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear sarah442,

Thank you for sharing your experience and that of the volunteers at the Forest community garden. This is one of our parntership programmes which enables people using our services to try out thier skills in a range of areas and have the benefit of working within a group with support.

We will continue to run similar programmes in the near future to enable people to develop skills, gain experience and qualifications. Its a wonderful opportunity to meet others,build new friendships,link with local communities and feel valued.

Julie Swann

Team Leader Social Inclusion and Well Being Service

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