27 June 2012
St Mungo's Putting Down Roots gardening project is celebrating an award of over £60,000 to continue working to support mental health and wellbeing for homeless people in London. The grant was awarded by Ecominds from the mental health charity Mind, on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund.
The award comes in recognition of the project's invaluable work to date, supporting people with experience of mental health problems, by using gardening and horticulture as a form of therapy. The money, the project's second Ecominds grant to the programme, will fund Putting Down Roots to continue its work and sets the project up for long term success and sustainability.
Putting Down Roots (PDR) is open to people who are currently homeless, have been in the past or are at risk of becoming homeless. It provides a safe route for recovery through therapeutic gardening activity.
PDR volunteers maintain and develop public and community gardens and hostel grounds across London and grow vegetables at two allotments. Along with general gardening there are opportunities for hard landscaping and building work and to undertake accredited horticulture training.
Martin Calderwood, St Mungo's Putting Down Roots Coordinator, said: "We are very grateful to Ecominds. This funding will enable us to continue supporting those who attend Putting Down Roots each week and seeing the impact it can have. For our participants PDR is a chance to meet new people, learn new skills, build self esteem and escape the pressures or isolation people might feel. We have welcomed around 125 people through our doors in the last two years and, thanks to this second Ecominds grant from Mind, will be able to help many more people in the months ahead."
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said: "This additional burst of BIG funding presents Ecominds projects with an incredible opportunity to provide long-term support at a local level, for those who need it most. Outdoor therapy has become a life line for many, offering an alternative form of treatment that can be maintained for life. It is fantastic that projects can now rise to the very real challenge of uncertainty and change in service provision nationally. We are excited to continue our work with projects over the coming year as they develop to fulfill the grant objectives and support those in their communities."
Putting Down Roots is one of 87 outdoor exercise projects in England to receive secondary Ecominds awards from Mind today, thanks to a further £2 million from the Big Lottery Fund. Evaluation of the Ecominds scheme, since it started in 2010, shows the clear social and economic impact of the programme - with participants reporting improved physical and mental wellbeing, thousands moving onto further volunteering, training or paid work; and across the country, communities experiencing improved access to green spaces.
Notes to editors:
For further information contact Gemma Hollingshead on email@example.com or call 020 8762 5570 / 07979 018 734
St Mungo's runs over 100 projects across London and the South, providing accommodation and much more for over 1,700 people every night of the year. From emergency support off the streets to semi-independent housing and move on guidance, employment opportunities, training and health support, the charity helps thousands of people to make permanent life changes every year.
As part of St Mungo's Skills and Employment services, the Putting Down Roots gardening project supports people with experiences of homelessness to become engaged in an activity and consider moving onto further training and developing their skills for getting into work.
Ecominds is a funding scheme administered by the mental health charity Mind and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. It supports environmental projects that help people with experience of mental distress get involved in local green activities to improve confidence, self-esteem and physical health. A total of £7.5 million has been distributed to 130 new and existing projects across England.
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress. www.mind.org.uk
For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
Big Lottery Fund