Putting Down Roots

Putting Down Roots is a gardening project for people who are currently homeless or have been in the past, or who are at risk of becoming homeless.

We work in hostel grounds, public parks and on our own allotment, developing gardening skills, growing organic vegetables and carrying out hard landscaping and building projects. We have many types of garden, so everyone can take part and find something enjoyable to do - whatever their abilities or physical difficulties. We provide lunch and travel expenses. We currently operate in Lambeth, Southwark, Haringey and Westminster but are always keen to hear about new opportunities.

Skills and training

The main emphasis is to support our clients to gain skills, qualifications, paid and voluntary work.

Therapeutic gardening

Garden trainer Robert, who is funded by Ecominds, has worked with 75 clients across our mental health projects.


Putting Down Roots supplies fruit and vegetables from the allotment, for example, to The Table Cafe in Southwark. PDR is also contracted to provide maintenance for Melior Street community gardens, and keen for similar contracts (renovation, maintenance, development).

Although the project would like to attract more paying clients/ contracts, PDR wishes to keep the strong emphasis on its work with clients, especially in the area of therapeutic gardening.

Young people Our Bright Future

The Putting Down Roots Young People Project is now being developed to work with 1,700 vulnerable young people aged 16 to 24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across London, Bristol, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes. This project is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and is part of the Our Bright Future programme.

Please click here for our Putting Down Roots Young People Referral Form. This can be completed by a support worker, social worker, doctor or the client themselves.

Pictures and Community Activity

 A short film: Recovery through gardening - the story of Putting Down Roots.

Read more: Putting Down Roots Recovery Results

If you are interested in joining Putting Down Roots, please contact Martin Calderwood on 07714 699 616, or ask your keyworker to complete the PDR Keyworker Referral form and return it to martinc2@mungos.org.  If you do not have a keyworker, complete a Putting Down Roots Self Referral form.

Currently we can only take referrals from St Mungo's Broadway clients. To register your interest for a referral in the future email martinc2@mungos.org