Mental health outreach programme to shine at Plant Lovers’ Day

The Nurture Project participants having a cup of tea in the conservatory after gardening at Wells Ho

The Nurture Project participants having a cup of tea in the conservatory after gardening at Wells Hospital. Picture: THE NURTURE PROJECT - Credit: Archant

Gardening is good for the mind as well as the soul - and that’s the idea behind a plant lovers’ day being planned for Creake Abbey.

The site, just south of Burnham Market, is hosting the day with a ‘gardening for well-being’ theme on Saturday, May 26.

The annual event has raised more than £20,000 for Wells Community Hospital Trust since it started 10 years ago, and this year The Nurture Project, which runs a horticultural therapy outreach programme at the hospital, will take part.

The pilot programme offers year-round supervised gardening to support adults living with mild to moderate mental ill health.

Carlyn Kilpatrick, The Nurture Project founder and co-ordinator, said: “Horticultural therapy can be a very effective intervention when supporting people with mental ill health, and we very much hope this will be the case with our new outreach programme at Wells Community Hospital.

“So we are thrilled to have the opportunity to explain more about our work to other gardening enthusiasts visiting Creake Abbey’s Plant Lovers’ Day.”

Samantha Taylor, general manager of the hospital trust, said: “We are very excited to now offer horticultural therapy alongside our wide range of flexible and integrated health and well-being services for those living in Wells-next-the Sea, and the surrounding communities.

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“Working in partnership with Carlyn from the Nurture Project we hope to support more people locally to keep independent longer with this innovative programme.”

Diana Brocklebank Scott, founder of Creake Abbey, said: “We hope their combined presence at our event will educate our visitors of the remarkable health benefits of horticulture and inspire more budding gardeners to get involved themselves.”

This year’s event will feature perennials, exotics, bulbs, shrubs, climbers and vegetables. There will also be specialist tree nurseries attending bringing soft and hard woods as well as unusual fruiting and nut trees.

The Nurture Project’s stand will showcase educational and promotional material, as well as promoting the benefits of horticultural therapy. Dozens of specialist nurseries and other groups will have their own stands. The event runs 10am to 4pm. Entrance is £4 per adult and there is no charge for under 16s.

Dogs are welcome on leads.