Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s to showcase gardening recovery scheme at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s is excited to announce that it will be taking part in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The charity has been given the opportunity to create one of the ‘show gardens’ at the world-famous event.

St Mungo’s, which operates services supporting people to recover from homelessness across London and the South of England, is being backed by Project Giving Back which is generously funding the garden.

The St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots Garden, which has been designed by award winning social enterprise landscape design studio Cityscapes, embodies the partnership between the two organisations as they work together to help people recovering from homelessness develop their confidence, learn new skills and rebuild their lives.

The garden will be one of the largest on-site and will be located on the prestigious Main Avenue at this year’s event, which runs from 24 May to 28 May 2022. The St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots garden is generously funded by Project Giving Back at no cost to St Mungo’s.

 

St Mungo’s Chief Executive Steve Douglas CBE said: “When you think about how to help people who have experienced homelessness, teaching them gardening might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

“But you’d be amazed at the change we see in people at Putting Down Roots. We have seen the important role that gardening activities can have on personal recovery and, furthermore, how horticulture can become a viable first step into employment for many people.

“There’s something about being outdoors, learning a new skill and seeing all the hard work come to life which really brings out the best in people.

“We are so grateful to Project Giving Back and to Cityscapes for this amazing opportunity to showcase our fantastic Putting Down Roots project on an international stage, and we know that clients and staff will relish the opportunity. We are keen to follow the garden’s progress, and to see it in all its glory at Chelsea.”

 

Matt Woodruff, St Mungo’s Horticultural Skills Manager, who runs the charity’s Putting Down Roots programme, said: “Chelsea is the highlight of the gardening calendar and we thrilled to be able to be part of it.

“Planning is well underway with our clients already involved in preparing what we will need for the garden. It is so exciting for everyone to be part of such and amazing event.”

 

St Mungo’s and Cityscapes have worked together for 10 years, designing a series of ‘Pocket Parks’ and horticultural projects around London which are maintained by people from Putting Down Roots.

 

Darryl Moore, Cityscapes Director and co-founder, said: “We are delighted to be working with St Mungo’s on this fantastic project. Over the last decade, we have seen first-hand the hugely positive effect Putting Down Roots can have on people as they recover from homelessness.

“We are so happy to continue to be able to empower St Mungo’s clients, and to be part of such a wonderful event which will highlight the amazing work of Putting Down Roots.”

 

The garden is an ‘urban pocket park’,  highlighting how people and plants can be brought together in a city environment, and the ways in which green spaces provide personal and social, health and wellbeing benefits.

The design (seen in the image above) focuses on green textural foliage punctuated with floral accents of colour, giving the garden a gentle sense of tranquillity, contrasting with the vibrant colours in the pavilion and other features, which are all made from recycled materials.

Large planters throughout the garden provide a sense of height and enclosure, creating an immersive and safe experience for users. The pavilion and seating provide opportunities for reflection and respite from the pressures of city life.

Once the event is over, the garden will continue to provide social and environmental benefits when it is relocated to a new permanent home in London Bridge, where it will be enjoyed by staff, clients and the public for years to come.

St Mungo’s has been running Putting Down Roots for 21 years and has gardens in London, Bristol and Leicester.

The innovative, award winning programme is entirely voluntarily funded, and provides vocational horticultural training to support people as they recover from homelessness and develop vital skills for employment.

 

During the last few years, the project has developed a number of successful ‘training gardens’, creating opportunities for people experiencing homelessness to undertake accredited qualifications and improve their wellbeing.

 

Find out more about St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots by watching the following video.

 

Notes to Editors

  • For more information or to request interviews please contact the St Mungo’s Press and PR team by emailing office@mungos.org.
  • St Mungo’s is a leading homelessness charity with national influence which works in partnership with local authorities, health colleagues and communities, to end homelessness and rebuild lives. It supported more than 31,600 people who were homeless, or at risk of homelessness last year, through 207 services. The charity supports more than 3,200 people every night and was key in delivering ‘Everyone In’, the Government’s emergency response to the pandemic. The charity believes rough sleeping can be ended in this country, and that policies and interventions can be put in place to end homelessness for good.
  • More information about St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots programme can be found here.

 

  • Project Giving Back (PGB) is a unique grant-making scheme that provides funding for gardens for good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. PGB was launched in May 2021 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on UK charitable fundraising. It will fund gardens inspired by a range of good causes at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, 2023 and 2024. PGB will fund eight Show Gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022 and four smaller gardens in a new category, All About Plants. In total, PGB plans to fund 42 gardens at the show from 2022 – 2024. (Applications for 2022 and 2023 are now closed.)

 

  • Cityscapes is a not-for-profit social enterprise, embracing a cross-disciplinary collaborative approach. Projects transform neglected and underused spaces into multi-functional places, bringing together people and plants in ways that command attention, encourage investigation and facilitate engagement, whilst embracing flexibility to ensure ecological, economic and social sustainability. It has worked with St Mungo’s for the past decade to create a series of Pocket Parks in urban settings.