— history —

SAGE stands for Support Arts Gardening Education. We promote the mental and physical well-being of adults experiencing mental health problems via the provision of creative therapeutic activities.

who we support

We can offer support to men and women over 18 whose life is troubled by mental health issues. These might range from mild to severe and include diagnoses such as anxiety, depression,
schizophrenia, panic attacks and PTSD. We are also able to accommodate adults who have a duel diagnosis of learning disability &/or physical disability. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate children during any of our group

our evolution

In 2006, we became a Registered Charity and Company Limited by guarantee and we started offering various sorts of creative therapy including arts and crafts, singing, cook and eat sessions, fishing etc. We have an office base connected to Pitsmoor Surgery and are managed by a Trustee Board. We employ several part-time staff and benefit from excellent input by volunteers , student placements and sessional workers.

why we were set up

SAGE was established in 1999 as a small voluntary gardening group set up after a needs assessment commissioned by Pitsmoor surgery. This confirmed a high incidence of mental
health problems in the area and a low uptake of available services. We decided to set up a project that had a non-clinical and non-threatening feel but would still give focused, professional support. The sort of gardening we provide is called Therapeutic Horticulture.

how our clients are referred

Greenfingers: Adults are usually referred to our therapeutic gardening activities by a health or
social services professional such as GP, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Counsellor, Social Workers etc. We also take self-referrals but will ask for a referral form to be completed by such a professional to ensure we offer appropriate complementary support.

Arts: Adults can self-refer or be referred by a health professional or other organisation. We
usually try to speak to a prospective client before they start so they know what to expect.

Training: contact our office on
0114 273 7716 to discuss how we can support you. 
It might be via a grant funded programme or via your own sources. 

— meet our team —

— our trustees —

Alison Frost


I am proud to have been involved with SAGE for many years, initially as co-facilitator of gardening sessions in my role with the Primary Mental Health Care Project and now as chair of a thriving and successful independent organisation. In my professional life I have over 20 years’ experience of supporting people with mental health problems, originally qualifying in social work and latterly counselling and counselling supervision. For me, the service SAGE offers is the perfect medium for engaging with and promoting the well-being of vulnerable and isolated people for whom mainstream services do not work.  

Bridget Strong

Bridget is one of the original trustees of Sage Greenfingers. She has worked in mental health all her career and was previously  CEO of Sheffield Mind. She has also worked in the NHS and now works for national Mind running the quality programme for the 136 local Minds across England and Wales. Bridget has always been motivated to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in our society as she believes that everyone should have the right to lead a fulfilling life, free from discrimination. She is a great believer in the benefits of being outdoors in natural environments and the sense of fulfilment gained from growing plants and produce, especially for those experiencing mental health problems. 

Clare McManus


I became a SAGE Trustee in 2013. I have worked in the arts all my life, particularly around participation and engagement. I have a long-term interest in arts and health and became increasingly interested in the impact of place and environment on peoples’ wellbeing. I’m also a keen gardener and know how much pleasure I get from working, and sometimes just sitting, outside.

Danny Antrobus

Much of my background is in fundraising, delivering information & advice and helping organisations to develop their fundraising capacity. I originally joined the SAGE board of trustees partly as a development opportunity – to help with the fundraising and strategic work of a small organisation. SAGE supports people who may otherwise fall through the gaps of mental health service provision by delivering therapeutic work in a non-threatening community setting. I think SAGE also does a great job of delivering services in a very flexible and empowering way where members of the group get a lot of say over how they spend their time on the site.

David Emmas


Dr Will Carlile


I joined the trustee board quite simply because I believe that the work engaged in by SAGE Greenfingers is life-changing for the many people it reaches, both clients/members and also workers and volunteers. I have seen some of the most emotionally distant people with whom I find some connection through the therapeutic intervention of time spent at the allotment. As a GP with a 20+ year experience of caring for people with mental health problems I clearly recognise the severe limitations of purely medial approaches, and I am really pleased to be able to support a charity dedicated to providing alternative and additional forms of support where there is good evidence of efficacy. I have to thank SAGE for providing some of the most rewarding moments of my professional career. Attending an open day is an uplifting experience. I try to return this positive experience by offering my skills a a trustee.

Michael Seneviratne


I am a junior doctor working in psychiatry and also have an interest in gardening and the benefits of gardening on mental health. It was through this that I came across SAGE and, after visiting the allotments and seeing the great work that they do, I agreed to be a trustee.

Richard Dolman

Chair of Trustees

Support to refugees and asylum seekers

SAGE is a member of City of Sanctuary and prides itself on welcoming refugees and asylum seekers to all our activities.

We ran a project from February 2011 to December 2011 and a short video titled 'Sowing the Seeds of Sanctuary' was made highlighting our work with refugees and asylum seekers

Click below to see the 20 minute video that describes the challenges many face as they try to settle in a new city. It also shows our horticultural therapy project in action and what our members think of it.

partnership work 

SAGE sees partnership as a
key to reaching out and meeting the needs of as many beneficiaries as possible.
Partners also offer opportunities for our members to progress to further
activity promoting health and well-being. We work regularly with the following
organisations as well as many others.

Pitsmoor Surgery

Pitsmoor surgery is our mother organisation. It was on the back of research commissioned by the surgery that Greenfingers was established and our partnership continues as follows:

  • We work closely with a specialist part of the surgery - The Primary Mental Healthcare Project (PMHCP)
  • Surgery staff, including GP's, registrars, practice nurses, counsellors, IAPT workers, regularly refer their patients to us.
  • We rent office space from the surgery and so have daily contact with the patients and staff.
  • Surgery staff are represented on our Board of Trustees.

Burngreave Partnership

A group of health focused organisations committed to developing a strategic approach to the delivery of health services in Burngreave:

SOAR - https://soarcommunity.org.uk/

PACA - http://pacacentre.org.uk/

ACT - http://www.actsheffield.com/

SACHMA - http://sacmha.org.uk/

Arches Housing - http://www.archeshousing.org.uk/

Page Hall Medical Centre - http://www.pagehallmedicalcentre.co.uk/

Burngreave TARA – www.burngreavetara.org.uk

NEAP - North East Allotment Projects

An informal skill share group of organisations promoting food growing in North East Sheffield:

Green City Action - http://www.gca.burngreave.net/

LEAF - http://www.leafsheffield.org.uk/wordpress/

Trade Base/Hope - http://tradebaseallotment.btck.co.uk/

Heeley City Farm - https://www.heeleyfarm.org.uk/

Burngreave Health Network

A network of health oriented organisations who meet quarterly to share information on current and forthcoming developments.

SAGE chairs the meetings and administers the data base of members and email circulation list.

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About Sage
We promote the mental and physical well-being of any adults experiencing mental health problems via the provision of creative therapeutic activities.
Company registered in England No. 5698287
Registered Charity No. 1114743