In Funding Stories, The environment & public spaces

Group: Lindengate mental health charity
Project: Open Gardens and Core Programmes for mental health wellbeing
Grant: £5,000
Fund: Rectory Foundation

Photo of pink flowers and other plants, next to sandy paths, set against a blue sky with fluffy clouds.

Lindengate is a charity based in Wendover. Their aim is to improve people’s mental health, physical health, and wellbeing. They do this through the provision of nature-based activities in horticulture, gardening, environmental conservation, heritage skills, arts and craft. This all takes place in their tranquil six acre site, which features an orchard, kitchen garden, wildflower meadow, sensory garden, and water features.

Funding from Rectory Foundation contributed to the running and staff costs of Lindengate’s Open Gardens and Core Programmes services. In the funded period, they welcomed 1,268 visitors to their Open Gardens, and 457 participants to their Core Programmes.

The Open Gardens project sees the charity open their gardens to everyone for four days a week. The days are run by staff and volunteers who provide information to visitors about the various areas of the gardens. Visitors sometimes mention a specific challenge they are facing in their life, and they have come to the gardens to pause and take some time for themselves. By visiting the Open Gardens, the local community can access a safe, green space, speak to friendly staff, and enjoy an opportunity to connect with nature. Some visitors may be coping with bereavement or struggling with financial worries. Others might feel lonely or lack things to look forward to. The benefits of being in nature include reductions in depression, anxiety and stress related symptoms, improved happiness, satisfaction and quality of life, and increased social contact, inclusion and sense of belonging.

Photo of a young person planting vegetables in a raised planter.Lindengate also offer multiple services through their Core Programmes which provide social and therapeutic support to improve wellbeing. These include: Wellbeing Pathways, for individuals impacted by mental health, Memory Pathways, which supports people living with dementia and/or memory loss and their carers, and Green Volunteens, which offers young people aged 15 – 18 the chance to volunteer in the gardens and learn conservation, bushcraft, and heritage skills.

By opening their gardens and providing these support services, Lindengate enhances the health and wellbeing of the local community by giving them much needed access to nature, the environment, and horticultural learning.

Photo of a grass field, with a floral arch in the foreground and a dusky sky in the background.Quote from beneficiary

“Lindengate has been a lifeline for me for a long time and without it I don’t know where I would be. I am very grateful for everything I have here, and everybody involved.”

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