Championing community gardening and city farming
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Overview: Originally founded in 2012, Green Synergy is a Lincoln-based charity that uses community gardening and horticultural therapy to help improve people’s lives. We work in disadvantaged communities and with vulnerable people, including those living with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, long-term health problems and unemployment. We use gardening to build skills for life and work, improve mental and physical health and educate people about the environment, food and farming.
Rationale: Green Synergy was created with the main aim of setting up a community garden and city farm in Lincoln. At the time of our charity’s inception, there were no other projects like this in the city. Consultation with our local community showed that there was both a need and an interest in our proposal.
Although Lincoln is set in a very rural, agricultural county, it still has the same issues as other cities. Our nation is becoming increasingly disconnected from food production. It is estimated that 20% of people living in towns and cities never get out into the countryside. It is particularly difficult for people living with long-term health conditions, people without their own transport or people who are on low incomes to go to rural areas. 1 in 3 children have never heard a cow a pig or a sheep in real life. City farms and community gardens bring a slice of the countryside right into the heart of the city, making it accessible for all. They also provide lots of other benefits around mental health and wellbeing, training and social inclusion. For further information on community gardens and city farms visit www.farmgarden.org.uk and for further information on therapeutic horticulture visit www.thrive.org.uk
Our Mission is to use community gardening and horticultural therapy to help people socialise, learn and thrive.
Our Vision is for the people of Lincoln and the surrounding areas to have access to a network of local gardening and city farming projects therefore creating even happier, healthier, stronger and more sustainable individuals and communities.
we’ve had the privilege of working with.
“Before I came to the project I was sleeping in a shed, struggling to overcome heroin addiction. I didn’t really go out, didn’t really see anyone. I had hit rock bottom and kept contemplating taking an overdose. I happened to walk past the garden one day, I got talking to the Project Coordinator and started to get involved. Since then my life has turned around.”
"The residents and Green Synergy have worked tremendously hard to create this new community garden. "It really goes to show what determination and hard work can achieve for our community. Projects like this help people to get to know each other and encourage a real community spirit"
Lincolnshire Echo online May 28, 2015 – www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/archive.html
“Prior to joining the project, I was suffering from alcohol and drug dependency, which was partly due to a lack of having something to do. My mental health was rapidly deteriorating. Since joining I’ve found myself waking up early in the mornings with a sense of purpose”
“I love getting muddy at gardening kids club and playing the games at multi sports”
"I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I used to keep myself to myself. I didn’t feel comfortable meeting people. Getting to know people at the project has helped me to feel more confident in social situations. I’ve also had an opportunity to develop gardening and maintenance skills which has helped me feel more optimistic about reaching my goals in future. I am now able to plant vegetables, build stuff like garden furniture and mend things. I feel a lot better about talking to new people. I think the project is awesome. It has really helped me…"
Stepping Stones Garden Project
"Working with Green Synergy has always been a joy.They have taken the trouble to explain things thoroughly…the gardening has inspired our members and helped them to enjoy more hours being outside. Green Synergy have given us good ideas and taught us basic gardening skills. The restoration work on our memorial garden was carried out sympathetically. With its new raised beds, it is an absolute joy to work in for all of our members even those wheelchair bound… Thank you Green Synergy"
“I am a 12 year old carer at home, I help care for my 3 special needs siblings but at Green Synergy I’m just a normal 12 year old who loves to do gardening and playing games and having fun.“
“After being out of work for quite a while, Green Synergy Project has elevated me generally and lifted my mood. By working with the community and learning about new projects, in my case learning about aspects of gardening which I have not had the motivation of knowledge to do so until now. Thanks to Green Synergy."
Funders and supporters
We would like to thank Stuart Wilde for the contribution of his professional photography services.
We would also like to thank everyone who has individually donated money to Green Synergy and everyone who has volunteered with us.