AWP Central and East Recovery Team
AWP Central and East's fundraiser for Headlight Mental Health Charity
Fundraising for Headlight Mental Health Charity
The Central and East Bristol Recovery Team are taking on 21 mile walk over Cheddar Valley and Blackdown Hills to raise funds for our Speedwell Recovery Allotment Group.
The team covers inner city, central and east Bristol and provides care to services users with mental health problems within the community. Our Speedwell Allotment Group which started in January 2023, offers a nature-based health intervention to all our service users. This is part of the wider green care service, initially funded by the Green Social Prescribing team as part of the BNSSG Healthier with Nature Programme. The initial funding helped set up a thriving allotment for our service users who get to dig, socialise and share food we've harvested from the plot together every week. From rhubarb crumble, pumpkin soups, tomato chutneys, leek tarts, potato salads- we've been feasting! Tackling food inequality and nature connection in one lovely space.
The project started with one social Allotment Group that allows a drop in service for all our service users to partake not only in gardening and food growing, but craft and woodworking activities every week. We wanted to see all of our service users’ needs being met so we created 1:1 hourly slots for service users to come and participate away from the group setting. We are also now facilitating a six week Womxn’s Nature Connection course inviting attendees to practice nature-based mindfulness techniques and provide them with them with various nature-based activity skills.
The success of our small plot has allowed us to take on an overgrown neighbouring plot at Speedwell Allotments which the service users collectively decided they want to ‘give back to nature’. To create our imagined wildlife garden we need the funding to keep the group going. Service users have started to build a pond but need to fill it with wildlife and aquatic plants. We would love to be able to buy them climbers to create a blooming archway tunnel and a tranquil reflective bench at the back of the plot for people to go and sit and watch the bees buzzing around some lavender bushes. Providing both a social and productive food plot as well as quiet and reflective natural plot to improve the health and wellbeing of service users and our staff at the recovery team is really important to us.
To sustain our thriving group we are fundraising not only for this second plot but for next year’s growing season. To have a small pot of money for seeds, compost, diy tools and most importantly cups of tea- would secure the future of our group.
Our staff walking volunteers really don't know what they have let themselves in for! The route we WILL complete on the 9th and 10th September will be tough about 10 miles of walking up and down hills each day. Despite the challenge, all the team continue to rally around the allotment because we know it's such a positive space for both service users and staff to enjoy. We hope you can donate, or send our page to someone you know who would like to see and support more nature-based practice in our mental health services.
Central and East Recovery Team and Speedwell Allotment Group.