Publish date: 11 May 2021

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May), we’ll be sharing inspiring stories of how service users and our staff are supported through nature. Today, we visit an allotment in Hounslow, run by our Hounslow Community Occupational Therapy service.

The allotment is a safe space for our adult community mental health service users to come and learn new skills (including planting and the general running of the allotment), rehabilitate and use their time there as a way of returning to the community with confidence. 

This allotment project has been running for over ten years and has helped dozens of service users in the local area. It is supported by Meadowbank Adult Education in Hounslow (through various curriculum activities such as arts and crafts which help service users connect with nature further), and Kew Gardens, who also run a community allotment group, as part of its community involvement programme which our service users also attend.

One of the service users, Sally, has been part of the allotment project for two years. She said: “I live alone which can be really isolating. This project gets me out of the house, I get to meet new people and it’s great to see the progress of my hard work. It’s been very inspiring and I’m using what I’ve learnt here to work on my small back garden at home, which I now love.”

Below is an image gallery of a painting activity service users and Trust staff took part in, led by Meadowbank.