Our Community Garden
Therapeutic gardening in East Sussex - helping towards a healthier body and mind
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It is common knowledge, that eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for you, but


Did you know

that growing them is good for you, too?

There is ample evidence of the therapeutic effects of gardening, especially for those with mental health issues, recuperating from illness or who are lonely and want an activity to take part in with the company of others.

Not everybody has a garden or access to one in which to enjoy these benefits, but

Did you know

that there is a Community Garden, between East Hoathly and Halland in East Sussex? 

The garden is designed and managed, so that people with disabilities, needing therapeutic activity, looking for company or who need to supplement their diet with fresh produce - can take part, regardless of skill level or energy - at no cost?
 ​
 

The project started when James Hamilton-Andrews approached the local Parish Council to rent an allotment for growing and supplying fresh vegetables for local people, including himself, who were having to use the food bank.

The aim was to provide a space for those who had mental health and physical disabilities.

James was also experiencing a range of physical disabilities, so he assessed what he was capable of doing in terms of working the garden plot and making it more accessible.

By using himself as an example, he wanted to show other local people with disabilities how to get involved in horticulture and succeed in living a healthier lifestyle.

To date the project is set up as a CIC, with two volunteer directors and a range of other volunteers from the village, and grants awarded from several sources.

James is studying for an MSc in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion, and those using the garden include local people living with mental health issues, e.g. Bipolar, Psychosis, those recovering from alcohol and drug misuse, people with brain injury and adults and young people living with Autism.

James commented: “It has been important that the Community Garden Plot has been supported from the start by Action in rural Sussex with practical advice so that we have been able to form a CIC. I don’t think we would have had the impact we now have without AirS’ advice about all the legal, social and networking side of setting up a community project in a rural setting."

James received  a prestigious volunteer award, The President’s Cup , for his outstanding work on the East Hoathly and Halland Community Garden, which was presented to him at a special ceremony with the CLA at The South of England Show on 8th June 2017
James Hamilton-Andrews
James Hamilton-Andrews
© Peter Cripps
James Hamilton-Andrews
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