Growing Lives is based in a market garden at the De Frene site. The site is a one-acre growing space including nearly 200 square metres of raised beds and a 110 square metre polytunnel. We also have a nature area, orchard and project area including an earth oven, pole lathe and solar fruit drier.
Growing Lives enables co-workers suffering from mental distress to improve their mental, physical health and general well-being. The project runs weekly social, therapeutic and vocational horticultural sessions, along with offering the chance to achieve Open College Network accreditation.
Participants can learn new horticultural and transferable skills, gain qualifications and improve their employability, self-confidence and self-esteem. Learning about food-growing helps to encourage healthy eating and improved diet. The project also increases social inclusion in the community.
The project also manages the De Frene site in an environmentally friendly way that enhances wildlife and biodiversity, as well as improving the general amenity of the neighbourhood.
Growing Lives is led by a project co-ordinator, supported by a project assistant and volunteers. Drop-in volunteer sessions run every Wednesday and every 3rd Saturday of the month.
Most of the funding for the project comes from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund.
Capital Growth garden: