Inspiring, therapeutic environments in city farms and community gardens.

Registered Charity 1153883 / Company Number 8399741

Growing the community, together
11 Dec 2019

ECO Wrap Project

The Eco WRAP Project offers the following

Weekly Pop In – for people wanting to step into a safe space, have a cuppa with a dose of listening and to find out about Wellness Recovery Action Planning and other projects.  If the weather is good, we will be on Hillside garden but if you would prefer to meet in our office please pop in. Thursdays 1.30 – 2.30 pm

Eco Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) programme 11 am ‘til 1 pm Thursdays commencing 14th November 2019. Each program runs for 4 weeks

WRAP is a structured recovery programme that is used to promote, enable and sustain recovery.  As part of your WRAP you can develop your own wellness toolbox with an emphasis on what can be discovered in nature.  As part of your wellness action plan you will experience new tools such as;

  • Meditation – including mindfulness
  • Stress management techniques
  • Manage your thinking patterns
  • Using medicinal plants safely to support your wellbeing

Train the Trainer Option – we will also be offering a Train the Trainer option for those who would like to support others using WRAP.

To find out more about this project and book in please email trudy@greensynergy.org.uk or Lizzie@greensynergy.org.uk drop into a pop in session or phone us on 01522 533077 where you can speak to someone or leave a message for us.

Who can Come along? Anyone who would like to create or build on personal resource to enable recovery and wellness.  Anyone wanting to develop their own unique Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Anyone that would like to spend time in a supportive environment.

Anyone that would like to be more mindful of nature and wellness.

11 Dec 2019

Get into Gardening and Landscaping

Are you currently out of work and looking for an opportunity to gain skills and qualifications around gardening and landscaping? You may be interested in joining our Move or Steps Forward project.

The MOVE project is led by Lincolnshire Voluntary Centre Services and is funded by the European Social Fund bringing together 24 partners to engage with participants who are not in education, work or training and are experiencing barriers to employment. These may include physical or mental health issues, financial problems, addiction, homelessness, family problems, social isolation or a combination of these

MOVE and Steps Forward are two projects that we deliver as part of a Lincolnshire-wide consortium programme, funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery. 

BBO Move runs 3 times a week from our community garden and gives participants the opportunity to gain practical gardening skills, knowledge and experience, in a caring, inclusive setting with wrap around 1-1 mentoring and advocacy support.   As part of this project you will be offered the opportunity to gain a qualification in Brushcutting and Strimming as well as building on other skills you have.

The Steps Forward Project is like MOVE but supports people who are economically inactive and are less ready or able to work. Therefore, our engagement with Steps Forward beneficiaries’ is more bespoke than MOVE. We offer individual, tailor-made, supported, volunteering opportunities designed around people’s interests and needs. Outside of the garden sessions, this could include, for example, developing someone’s administration skills, whilst simultaneously supporting them to overcome their anxiety. The outcomes for this project are broader than MOVE, to reflect people’s wider needs; they also include supporting people into actively searching for jobs. The expectation is that participants on this project will be with us longer.

 The sessions for BBO MOVE & Steps Forward run every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday between 9:30am & 1pm and are held at Hillside Community Garden.

How to join this Project

People may refer themselves or be referred onto MOVE or Step Forwards by another service. To access the project, you must be unemployed and over 17 and need to evidence they are not working. If you would like to find out more please email  Lizzie@GreenSynergy.org.uk or call 01522 533077.

 

11 Dec 2019

Tower Power – Kid’s Club

Our Tower Power project is run thanks to a grant from Children in Need. This started in September 2018 and will run until August 2021.  The Tower Power project evolved from local residents’ ideas to tackle issues on the estate including boredom and anti-social behaviour, loneliness and isolation and to generally bring people together to enhance neighbourly relations, community spirit and improve the local environment.  We previously had a grant from the People’s Health Trust, with funds through the Health Lottery https://www.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk/ to kick start a range of activities with the whole community. You can see a video of People’s Health Trust funded project here https://www.healthlottery.co.uk/good-causes/lincoln-locals-leave-their-troubles-at-the-garden-gate/

With the current funding from Children in Need, w run regular sessions that help support the children and young people in our community. Activities include a homework club on Monday 4-6pm which helps children get their homework done in a supportive and quiet environment; aKids Club on Wednesday 4-6pm where we run a range of activities for children both inside and outside in the garden (weather permitting), and a Teenzone club on Fridays 4-6pm for our older children.

Throughout  holidays we ran fun and educational sessions such as Forest Schools, community art workshops, fun days, BBQ’s, picnics and trips

The Project is open to children families who live on the Tower Estate. For more information on how to get involved contact Lizzie: lizzie@greensynergy.org.uk you can see our project in action in this video https://www.facebook.com/GreenSynergyLincoln2012/videos/1921600254810078/

Testimonials

“I love getting muddy at gardening kids club & playing the games at kids multisport”

“I am a 12 year old carer but at Green Synergy I’m just a normal 12 year old who loves to do gardening, playing games and having fun. Green Synergy was the only thing that made me happy and free to be normal”

11 Dec 2019

Better Together Project

Therapeutic Horticulture – Better Together Project 

Better Together (B2G) which started in January 2019 is a three-year partnership project with two other local charities- Abbey Access and Development Plus. It is funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and offers pre-employability opportunities to build skills, confidence and connections for people with mental health conditions.

The project offers continuous support, through skilled mentoring, for the duration of the project and for a period of onward transition at the end. Using a person-centred approach, we work flexibly with beneficiaries to meet their identified needs and goals. This involves recognising and dealing with a wide range of complex issues that can affect people and then using a holistic approach that can enable them to move on and be better able to sustain social, physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you would like to get involved, or know someone who does…

The Green Synergy element of B2G involves therapeutic and community gardening delivered in small to medium-sized groups on the Hillside Garden. The sessions run every Tuesday. Wednesday & Thursday between 1pm & 3pm. With the help of the garden, we create an environment where people feel safe and can grow in a creative and enabled way. From the outset we have taken a co-design approach to B2G so we are building on the skills and creativity of beneficiaries which gives authentic ownership in project delivery, lets peer support naturally grow and allows people to make choices in how they go forwards – a great fertilizer for confidence. For more information contact Trudy on trudy@greensynergy.org.uk or Lindsay on lindsay@greensynergy.org.uk

09 Jun 2016
Hillside Community Garden- help us turn this into a beautiful garden for the whole community

Hillside Community Garden

2019 Update

In February 2017, Green Synergy was granted a lease for 2.5 acres of derelict land at the back of Lincoln County Hospital. Formerly used as allotments, the site was covered in thirty-years of brambles and fly-tipped waste. Together with the local community, the hospital, schools, businesses and voluntary groups, we are transforming it into a beautiful, edible, accessible space for everyone to enjoy. We are nearing the end of our first phase of development which has focussed on the creation of the ‘community garden’. Next year we will commence phase two which will see the addition of therapy animals and an eco-building.

In last year’s report, we spoke of creating the main crop area, community-lawn, herbaceous borders, peace garden and wildlife area.  It is really exciting to report back on the progress of these elements and to share news on our latest developments.

The Peace Garden Thanks to our team of regular volunteers and additional support from Marks and Spencer the Peace Garden was completed last summer. The idea for this garden originally came from Lincoln’s Interfaith Forum who contributed the seed funds. Green Synergy Volunteers worked up a spiral design with a central water feature and soft white and purple planting to represent a wave of peace coming over you as you enter this small tranquil space. A team of volunteers from Marks and Spencer worked alongside our Get into Gardening project to construct the garden. Marks and Spencer also kindly donated funds for the plants. The Peace Garden also represents and helps to communicate our shared values of inclusivity, community cohesion and respect.

The Therapeutic Garden is another area of the Hillside designed to create a sense of peace and calm. Funded by the Bromhead Medical Trust, this twelve-metre by ten-metre space is enclosed by a wooden fence to help people feel safe and secure when inside. It has a segmented circular theme; each section is planted with a different colour, from whites, through to pastel pinks, cool blues, hot reds, oranges and dark purples, browns and black. There is also a variety of shapes and structures from soft, fury leaves to tall spires and jagged edges. The planting is deliberately diverse, enabling people to connect with different areas, depending on their mood and emotions that day. The various shapes, sizes and colours can help people identify and express their feelings.

This garden is already being used by our ‘Better Together’ therapeutic horticulture project (see page 18 for more information), who are currently designing the central space. In future, we also plan to use the Therapeutic Garden for dementia friendly and accessible gardening.

In the Productive Area, we have harvested an abundance of vegetables including potatoes, leeks, cabbages, broccoli, turnips, beetroot, radish, beans and peas … so much produce. This is shared between volunteers and surplus is given out to the wider community, recently we also started to supply spinach to local community cafés.
This spring we planted up the heritage Orchard with old English cherries and traditional Lincolnshire varieties of apples and plums including Ellison’s Orange, an apple bred in Bracebridge.
We have been delighted to see Whitethroats and Blackcaps in the Wild Area as well as more common garden birds. The scrub, brambles and nettles make a brilliant home for a variety of wildlife and now with access paths, it’s possible to see more of it. We are continuing to increase the species diversity through habitat management and the addition of wild plants including native daffodils, snowdrops and wild garlic.

In March we excitedly received a 40ft Shipping Container, kindly donated by Spouge Farms and Denby Transport. This massive ‘shed’ means we no longer need to ferry tools to site. Lindum Construction is supporting us to fit out the interior to create a tool store and workshop.  This will give us the opportunity to continue the development of the site and offer new activities such as tool repair and garden furniture making. The store will be further secured with a security fence forming what we will call the Utility Area, within which we will erect a polytunnel and house a beautiful wooden caravan gifted by the Houghton and Wright family in loving memory of their son. Therefore, as well as safe storage, the utility area will provide us with new covered spaces for growing and meeting.

This year the Borders have really started to flourish. They have been filled with colour pretty much throughout the whole year. There is always something of interest to look at and enjoy.

Whilst we have carefully created plans for Hillside, we have also found that the designs are evolving organically, partially due to new ideas from participants and partially owing to the natural materials we find on site. Formerly a quarry, Hillside is yielding wonderful pieces of limestone that we are using to create drystone walls, seating and water features.  Offcuts from overgrown trees have been used to create log edging for pathways.

As always, throughout the year we have been supported by a fabulous team of volunteers, staff and community and business partners. The beautiful garden that is evolving is a direct reflection of everyone’s commitment, hard work, dedication, energy and skills. We would like to take this opportunity to say a heart-felt thank you to each person who has been involved.  We would also like to thank all of our funders and donors who have contributed money, times and materials to us. This incredible ongoing support is so gratefully received and appreciated.  Collectively it is making significant positive changes to the environment and to the lives of individuals in our local community.

So far Green Synergy has received support for the project from Public Health Lincolnshire, Grow Wild, The NGS Elspeth Thompson Bursary, Bromhead Medical Trust, for which we are very thankful. We are currently raising further funds through a crowdfunding campaign to build the garden infrastructure, set up projects and start a social enterprise (so we can be financially sustainable in future). Click here to support us >>>