Trust Links is a local mental health charity in South East Essex that aims to support members of the community through therapeutic gardening. Through a number of different projects, they provide a quiet and relaxing environment for their members where they can focus on their wellbeing and mental health, along with developing new skills and building strong links within the community.
Therapeutic Gardening with Growing Together Projects
Trust Links have four different sites that are home to their Growing Together projects. These are specially designed gardens to meet the needs of people with mental health problems and allows them to relax in a safe and quiet environment. Members are able to participate in activities that best suit their needs. This includes tending flowers, growing fruit and vegetables, or feeding the chickens, who can be found at their Growing Together Westcliff site. In addition to therapeutic gardening, members are also able to take part in a huge range of other activities too. The range of activities can include everything from creative writing to yoga. Members can meet new people, work towards qualifications, and are actively encouraged to reach their goals, no matter how big or small.
Members also have the opportunity to train in areas that will allow them to get ahead in the job market. There’s courses such as health and safety, and manual handling, along with the opportunity to train for a Diploma in horticulture. In addition to training, Trust Links also help to find work experience opportunities for their members to enable them to get back into employment.
Support for Carers & Young People
Trust Links is also a partner of the Southend Carers Hub. This provides peer support groups, activities and counselling for those who care for a loved one with a mental illness. This allows carers to meet new people who are in a similar situation, and to participate in stress reducing activities.
The Dig It Youth project is also run for young people aged 10 and up and is an outdoor activity club ran at two of the Growing Together sites. In addition to gardening, they can also take part in art activities and drama sessions too.
How Trust Links Work to Build Strong Communities
Trust Links is a local mental health charity assisted by members of the community who are willing to lend a hand. They have a team of volunteers who help with the day to day running of their centres, including garden support, office support, and assistance at their events. While they have received funding through projects such as the Essex Community Foundation and the Big Lottery Fund, they require regular donations in order to maintain their gardens and equipment. It costs £36 for a member to enjoy a day’s therapeutic gardening at one of the Growing Together sites, and regular donations will allow them to support even more people to improve their mental health.
You can support Trust Links this month by voting for them in our September 2019 charity poll. If you’d like to find out more about their projects, you can visit their website at http://www.trustlinks.org.