An ‘ecotherapy’ project in Stoke Newington is seeking to lift spirits and unite the community through gardening.
Last week the Woodland Trust donated 300 trees that were planted in Clissold Road Community Garden in Stoke Newington for the Roots and Boots horticultural therapy programme. The programme is run by local organisation Peter Bedford and the community building charity Groundwork London.
Peter Bedford, an organisation that runs in Hackney and Islington deals with health problems, learning difficulties and homelessness. They also offer supported housing and run a range of workshops for the tenants in everything from joinery to drama.
Project coordinator Paul Woodmin said: “You can see the effects on the people’s faces, a real sense of achievement. They are learning additional skills in a different type of setting.”
As well as planting trees in the community garden tenants are being encouraged to work on their own gardens in a bid to build relationships with their neighbours.
The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund with support form the mental health charity Mind.
A spokesperson for Mind said: “These schemes have been proven to be very effective. Being outside has a positive effect and lifts people’s self esteem as well as improving community spaces.”