Ecotheraphy garden awarded £20,000
Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Forest Farm Peace Gardens in Ilford received £20,000 through Postcode Local Trust. Two acres of community gardens has allowed the group to support local people with mental health needs, in an aim to improve their lives through Ecotherapy and also contribute to the sustainable development of their local community.
Over the past year, the group have delivered some fantastic sessions run by mental health professionals and qualified gardeners. The garden users are supported by local volunteers when participating in activities including beekeeping, biodiversity, habitat restoration and green energy.
So far, 20 people have benefited from ecotherapy sessions, which have resulted in reduced stress and anxiety levels, as well as improved moods and resilience. This has allowed each individual to become active within their communities and develop their natural environment.
The community garden, pictured to the right, remains the largest sustainable development project in the borough of Redbridge, where the orchard, herb gardens, beehives and organic produce are maintained over the course of the year.
The Postcode Local Trust team visited the group recently and had a fantastic day learning about the different roles of the volunteers and the impact this has for the community.
Katie Tweedie, Community Development Programmes Assistant at People’s Postcode Lottery said:
"It’s great to see our funding being used to make a difference in green spaces. Not only are the gardens helping to educate people in specialised areas and grow fresh produce, but they’re also improving the mental well-being of those participating in the activities."