ARC have secured funding to create a ‘Therapeutic Garden’ at the Way Ahead Project in south Leamington.
The Way Ahead Project (WAP) is a day centre for the homeless and vulnerably housed offering vital support to the community. Drop-in sessions are run from Monday through to Saturday (except Tues), providing hot food and drinks, showers, washing machines, and access to advice on housing, benefits and health from trained key workers.
Staff at WAP are very keen for the therapeutic garden to project to take place, understanding the needs of their service users and the need to provide a safe, relaxing and positive environment to carry out their essential work.
ARC will transform the concrete outdoor space into a thriving garden. This space is regularly used by the service users for smoking and being outdoors and has the potential to be an inspiring and healthy green space.
This is how it looks currently:
Service users will be engaged in creating a participatory design for the garden incorporating large raised beds which can accommodate a significant amount of planting, including vegetable growing.
Existing and additional plant pots will spread around the space to give a sense of being within a garden surrounded by green. Sociable seating spaces will be incorporated into the design. Service users will be able to enjoy sitting and relaxing in the improved outdoor space, as well as caring for and nurturing flowers, herbs and vegetables through weekly workshops.
Reconnecting with nature has significant benefits to a person’s well-being and mental health. Building on our success with our Ecotherapy at Foundry Wood, we hope this holistic, non-invasive therapy with increase the wellbeing of those who attend the day centre. Helping people to develop healthier lifestyles whilst increasing self-esteem and confidence of those who get involved and by feeling connected and valued in the community.
The project is funded by Warwick District Small Grant Scheme, Heart of England Community Foundation and the People’s Postcode Trust.