GreenCare: Outdoors for wellbeing

Welcome to our GreenCare service

As any gardener will tell you, getting outdoors in the fresh air is great for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Our GreenCare allotment projects help participants to improve their physical and mental health through outdoor activities while working alongside others. Activities include:

  • Digging
  • Sowing
  • Planting
  • Weeding
  • Harvesting

And, of course, we can enjoy an all-important cup of tea together.

GreenCare activities also help us to meet many of our Emotional Needs, such as:

  • Feelings of Achievement from helping to grow and nurture an allotment
  • A sense of Community through being part of a purposeful group
  • Opportunities for Movement and Emotional Connection with nature

Participants also report that attending regular sessions adds further Meaning & Purpose to their lives.

Who can benefit from GreenCare?

This service is for open to everyone over 18, including those who:

  • Experience mild to moderate depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges
  • Want to help build emotional resilience as a preventative measure and meet their Emotional Needs
  • Want to help prevent the onset of mental ill-health, such as an episode of depression

It has given me a positive place to go and be active. It gives me a sense of achievement to have helped with tasks on the allotment. It’s also a safe space to talk openly and it feels good to support others by listening too.

GreenCare allotment participant

Where are the allotments?

We have allotments in Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. Our groups offer a supportive environment to learn more about gardening, and contribute to the creation of a thriving growing space that benefits everyone.

  • Ipswich – first and third Thursday of each month, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Bury St Edmunds – first and third Friday of each month, 10.00am – 1.00pm
  • Haverhill – second and fourth Thursday of each month, 12.30pm – 3.30pm

What’s it like to volunteer?

“At the end of each session we can always see such a difference, as the plot changes so much after three hours of working together. There is also a big difference in how participants feel after some fresh air, some gardening activity, and some time chatting with others over a cup of tea. I’ve really seen a difference in participants’ confidence and growth, especially after lockdown. Our plot provided an oasis for people after being stuck at home for so long. Come along and experience a session. Be part of the group and see the benefits for yourself.”

GreenCare Allotment Volunteer

Suffolk Mind services

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If you’d like to let us know your experience of using a Suffolk Mind service, including ways we can improve, please complete this form.

Our team regularly reviews feedback to help us improve the support services that we offer.

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