SAGE Greenfingers is about more than just gardening. The project offers:
- Help to work towards personal goals
- The opportunity to socialise in a safe space
- Gentle exercise in a beautiful setting
- One to one support from trained staff & volunteers
- A chance to learn new skills & knowledge
- Indoor activities, such as art & craft, in our on site cabin
- Support to progress on to other activities and groups
- Disabled access
Greenfingers is the name we give to our horticultural therapy programme that began in 2004. You don't need to be interested in gardening to benefit. We use the ideas of growth, gentle physical activity, and connection with nature to provide you with tools for personal growth. We supplement this with art and craft activities.
We offer a friendly, accessible group, promoting positive mental and physical well-being and welcoming men and women of all ages and origins. Get out of the house, get some exercise in the fresh air, meet other people with similar experiences, make new friends, and learn new skills. Groups run for a period of 20 weeks over which time we'll help you to work towards your personal goals and make connections to continue gardening or other activities outside of the 'mental health bubble'.
At the beginning of you time with us you will be presented with a journal to decorate and keep. This is so you can keep a record of things you learn, plans for what you'd like to learn, and create artwork (don't worry, we're not Van Gogh either!). During each session we find time for some discussion about your personal goals and how you are feeling. During the session you can get involved in with gardening activities (as energetic or light as suits you) in small groups or with 1:1 support. We end the session with time to chat and plan for future weeks. Unfortunately due to COVID we can't provide food at the moment but you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.
We provide everything you need to participate in the session.
Our first group is back up and running and we are now taking referrals for groups to start in May and July.
Our site was designed according to the principle of therapeutic horticulture and accessibility for all. The main site is accessible by wheelchair, as is one of the 2 toilets at the top of the site. We have raised beds that are wheelchair accessible and platform beds for anyone who prefers to garden standing up or sitting down. We also have a quiet space – a peaceful place surrounded by flowers and an olive tree, with a view over the city.
Is it for you?
We aim to support those in greatest need who are not well served by statutory services and require a more holistic approach. we do not require a formal diagnosis but if mental illness is having detrimental effect and causes barriers to your participation and enjoyment of life then you are very welcome. We find that people who have experienced trauma respond well to our peaceful, safe environment and horticultural therapy can help people with long term mental illness maintain their recovery. We are not trying to 'cure' people, we are here to help people live their best life within their diagnoses and personal experiences.
Greenfingers is all about having the time and space to overcome barriers and find ways to recover the life you want. If you are struggling with mental illness and want to find new ways to cope then we will be happy to work with you. It is important to explain that our aim is to help you in your recovery journey. We don't expect you to suddenly 'get better' but we do expect you to progress towards your future. This is why we focus on helping you set and achieve goals. We don't mind whether they are big goals, like getting a job, or smaller goals, like taking some exercise once a week. We are here to support you with the things that are important to you personally.
So, if you want to explore a better future and are interested in using nature and art as part of this journey we're keen to welcome you.
How do I join?
Please click here to fill out our referral form which we would like to be filled in by a GP, Counsellor, Support Worker, Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) but understand if you wish to self-refer or ask someone else who supports you to contact us on your behalf.