ALLOTMENTS in Twyford have become the venue for a new community project.
This spring, Involve Community Services, Twyford Parish Council, Twyford GP surgery and Age Uk Berkshire have come together to run a wellbeing service for residents.
The Hurst Road site will host weekly gardening and growing sessions, as part of a plan to increase options for ‘green prescriptions,’ or non-medicinal healing through growing fruit and vegetables with a like-minded group.
The sessions will be led by experienced horticultural therapist Christina Hughes Nind. Her aim is for people with low to mid-level anxiety and depression to experience the benefit to their mood, stress levels, and general wellbeing that gardening is known to bring.
“I am really looking forward to welcoming our first gardeners and to seeing the act of growing work its magic,” she said.
The sessions will run every Thursday until October, Covid-19 rules permitting, from 10.30am until 12.30pm.
Ms Hughes Nind will be assisted each week by Natalie Burton, who has her own plot at the allotment, and experience working with groups.
Cllr Rohan Abeywardana has brought together a team for the project, including volunteers with plots who have, like him, felt the benefits of active involvement in growing food.
The plot will include a raised planter with plants to make tea from, sweet peas, edible flowers, and fruit and veg. It is not just about growing plants – the social side is important too.
There will be a seating area for a socially-distanced tea break, and encouragement to connect with other local activities, including with other plot holders.
Current plot holders have been “overwhelmingly positive” about the plan, and the team is eager for other residents, particularly those with defined mental health needs, to benefit from the community atmosphere of the allotment site.
The team aims to receive their first referrals this spring. It is open to all ages.
Residents that know someone who could benefit from the project, including themselves, can contact Jason Bowles by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org at Twyford Surgery. Or call 01344 304 404.
For more information, visit: www.ageuk.org.uk/berkshire