We are thrilled to announce that a new project, Acton Grow and Create, will launch in November, with thanks to grant funding from Awards for All. The social and therapeutic 8-week course, delivered by MindFood, will use art, gardening and cooking workshops to help young adults, 18 – 24 y/o, manage and recover from mental health challenges.
The past few years have been tough for all of us but there have been particular effects felt by young people. In March 2021 a London Assembly study found that 29% of young Londoners surveyed felt down, depressed or hopeless whilst Ealing’s JSNA 2021 reports 75% of local young people responded that they worry about problems ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a lot’. Top worries included their future, getting a job and the environment. Ealing Council’s Mental Health Lead, Dr Shather, said “we know mental health in young people have worsened as a result of the pandemic”. Whilst some impacts are reversible the unequal social and economic impact is having an adverse effect on youth.
The health benefits of growing and creating together are well documented but can be hard to access for young people, particularly when public green space in Ealing is scarce. Having launched a community garden in North Acton pavilion as part of Edible Acton, we were prompted to seek out a partnership which would open up the space to young people in the area, providing opportunities for increased wellbeing and connection to the local area. We are therefore, honoured to be working with the established mental health charity, MindFood, who will be delivering weekly sessions in North Acton playing fields for a small cohort.
MindFood are a small but qualified team with both lived experience of mental health difficulties as well as training in Mental Health First Aid, Public Health’s MECC approach and Social & Therapeutic Horticulture. For the last 8 years they have worked in partnership with local GPs, IAPT and mental health charities. They share our passion for creating a programme specifically addressing the challenges of young adults in the local area. Workshops will be delivered by Camilla Phelps, MindFood’s Naturally Creative facilitator:
‘We’re really looking forward to bringing MindFood to North Acton to explore creative ways to wellbeing through the nature that surrounds us.’
Join Camilla's workshops for free this Winter by registering at MindFood here.
What is Acton Grow and Create?
During weekly workshops a small group will take part in varied sessions, whilst exploring ways to build a self-care toolkit. The sessions involve:
Week 1 – Forage and create: planning and prepping a plot
Week 2 – Building a plant shelter
Week 3 – Sowing seeds
Week 4 – Forage and create at Christmas
Week 5 – Winter growing
Week 6 – Using your surroundings: dye, print
Week 7 – Forage, harvest and taste
Week 8 – Sowing for Spring
This 8-week is open to all young adults (18 – 24) living / studying in Ealing, who want to learn ways to protect their mental health.
The course will launch in January 2022, taking place each Friday, 2 – 3.30pm at North Acton Pavilion. You don’t need to have any prior experience in gardening or art to take part in this free support, this is an open and relaxed group for you to explore new ways of managing your mental health.
To sign up please head to the MindFood website and fill out the registration form: www.mindfood.org.uk/apply-to-join-mindfood
If you’d like to find out more or have a chat about the course, please email Camilla at firstname.lastname@example.org