Support our GreenCare team
There are few greater pleasures in life than enjoying a well-earned cup of tea in the sunshine after a hard day’s work in the garden. GreenCare provides this opportunity for those people experiencing anxiety and depression, those in recovery and those that would like to build their emotional resilience. We provide safe, friendly environments on our allotments and a community of green fingered people supporting each other and developing new skills in the fresh Suffolk air!
You can help us transform the lives of others.
Sponsor a GreenCare worker at one of our allotments in Bury, Haverhill or Ipswich and give the gift of GreenCare to more people in your local area and help us to transform lives. The groups are overseen by our Greencare support worker, Sarah, an experienced horticulturist with a passion for helping others. Sarah’s role is funded by Suffolk Mind, who in turn operate thanks to the generosity of local people – although we are in need of more financial support.
We need your sponsorship to support our support worker’s role, and to extend the GreenCare projects to reach more people.
Meet Sarah, a GreenCare support worker
“Somebody described this as not just a place to come and take care of a patch of land,” she explains. “This is a place to take care of ourselves, and each other. That’s absolutely true, and it’s really important.
“Sitting inside a room and talking around a coffee table doesn’t work for everyone. Some people feel trapped inside four walls and feel like they can’t express themselves or talk openly about how they feel, it can stop them from relaxing.
“With GreenCare, it is so nice to be outside and really get a chance to get to know one another, build meaningful relationships and enjoy nature,” she says.
“We have a real sense of community here, people don’t need to come to every session, but we have a core group of regulars who really look forward to coming along.”
What does GreenCare mean to the people who attend?
Sharon, one of our regulars talks about why she loves this place. After all, as she says, it has helped her rebuild her life.
“I have a history of anxiety and depression. Things had gotten so bad that I wasn’t able to go into the shops to pick up more than one thing at a time. I felt like a prisoner in my own home and was scared to leave my front door.
“The project has really helped me. It’s made me a lot more confident and seen me do things I never thought I’d be able to do.
“I’d been in counselling before but it didn’t work for me. If someone had told me the benefits of the project beforehand, I never would have believed them.”
“It really has given me a new lease of life. It’s inspired me to do new things. Now I want to travel and live my life again. I am so thankful – it is just so incredible how much this can benefit you.
“I want everyone to know how brilliant this place and these people are.”
Brian, another participant says “GreenCare has allowed me to practice socialising and building skills in anticipation of returning to work at some point.
“It is a safe space within which I am rebuilding my confidence to help me improve working skills in the future. I do not know of any other service that could provide me with such a safe space.”
What do our support workers do?
Our GreenCare support workers manage and organise the resources, tools and equipment needed to create and plan our allotment areas. People are supported by learning new gardening and growing skills, becoming part of a friendly community and having the time to feel the positive benefits on their wellbeing by being more active and outside in the fresh air.
The pandemic has impacted many people’s emotional needs for community and achievement, so getting outside and being involved with the work at any of our three allotments in Suffolk is a great way to build confidence, make friends and feel safe alongside our experienced GreenCare support workers.
Your sponsorship means that our support workers can continue to run these important spaces, giving the opportunity for more people to learn about gardening, contribute to the creation of a thriving growing space and look after their wellbeing at the same time.
Our allotments are in Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. Click the link below for more details, or to sign up.
Watch our GreenCare video
Photo and video credits: Paul Cook, Prominent PR, Suffolk Mind