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Wickes Sees Growth in Gardening Projects Benefitting Mental Health

Wickes Men In Sheds Penge May 2024

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, Wickes reflects on the impact their Community Programme is having on wellbeing projects in schools and local communities.

Wickes reveals that since their community programme started, 45% of the wellbeing projects have been provided with gardening products to support mental health. These therapeutic outdoor spaces are making a real difference in their local communities. 

Since 2022, Wickes has donated over 40,000 products to help transform or improve spaces to benefit the wellbeing of children and adults. Donations to charities like Men in Sheds are among those who are supported by the programme. Men in Sheds encourages its members to make, repair and repurpose by coming together to work on a variety of projects for their community. Through these activities, they hope to improve wellbeing, reduce loneliness, and combat social isolation.

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Image : Garden Army in East Grinstead 

It is becoming increasingly important to provide mental health facilities in the community, and frequently products are donated to charities like this one in East Grinstead. The Garden Army is a horticultural therapy service which allows people to seek outdoor therapy through the means of gardening. To continue providing this valuable service in the community, they rely solely on donations. As part of their development on the farm for the volunteers there, they needed a kitchen on their grounds to help members learn how to cook the vegetables they grow. Wickes provided them with the new kitchen they needed to provide this enriching experience.

Tom Mophew, founder of the Garden Army said: “As a farmer, I took for granted how important it was for me to be outdoors and through my experiences, I learnt about the positive impact farming and horticulture can have on people’s wellbeing.  Hence the birth of the Garden Army. We bring people together and enable them to share knowledge and experiences from gardening to cooking. That’s where the need for a kitchen came from as we realised that many people coming to the farm didn’t know what to do with the food they were going home with. We can’t thank Wickes and their suppliers enough for the donation of the Wickes Lifestyle kitchen the Leisure Range Cooker and Vinyl flooring.” 

Sarah Steers, Co-chair of the Wickes Wellbeing Network said: “Every year, we are seeing an increase in community projects requesting support for wellbeing projects, particularly gardens. Regardless of age or gender, mental health can affect anyone. Through our programme, we're glad to help these groups and play a part in supporting communities' wellbeing in the UK."

The Wickes Community Programme welcomes all local community groups seeking assistance for improvement projects. Groups interested in applying for a product donation can visit their local store to speak to the manager or find out more by visiting our website at www.wickes.co.uk/community-programme.

Source : Wickes

Main image : Men in Sheds, Penge

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13 May 2024

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