A group of people with mental health problems along with staff from Castleford Community Mental Health Team have transformed a piece of overgrown land into a thriving allotment.
The overgrown allotment in Castleford was given to the team rent free for two years, in March this year, and since then the group have grown a variety of fruit and vegetables including rhubarb, strawberries, spring onions, spinach and lettuce.
Mental health support worker Lynn Flavell – who runs the group with fellow support worker Angela Armitage – says, "We’re all really proud of the allotment. The group have all gelled well, and everyone works hard and gets a lot out of coming to the group. Gardening is a purposeful therapeutic activity and coming to the group stops people from feeling socially isolated."
She continued, "It’s been a real team effort – the allotment was so over grown when we first came. Everyone had been really supportive, we’ve had group members donate tools and a local business man Colin Clark has helped us out by giving the group a good deal on a new shed and putting it up and paving around it for free.’
Group member Cyril says, "I get lots of enjoyment from coming to the allotment, I get fresh air and get to work with other people."
Another member, Margaret, says, "Coming to the group gets me out of my flat and gives me chance to mix with other people. It’s a very nice group full of such happy people."