Gardening and Emotional Well Being -  new projects in Croydon
 
Healthy and supportive relationships are as vital as better-established lifestyle factors, such as eating well, exercising more and stopping smoking. What about a community project that brings people together, starts those important relationships and looks after our eating habits too?  This is what has been happening in Thornton Heath!

For the past two years local residents have developed a thriving edible garden on the community garden site of the Thornton Heath Recreation Ground. With support from the Council and Bensham Manor Bowling club, the space consists of three vegetable patches, a ten tree fruit orchard and a wildflower meadow. Work is carried out on the garden by a number of local people throughout the week especially on Sunday afternoons and is open to all to join in. It has become a well-loved and much used space with children from Winterbourne Girls school using it for lessons and even developing a bird watch board with the support of the RSPB which is based on site.
 
The project will help to develop the garden further enabling more activities and ensuring that the community learning around healthy eating and food growing continues. The project will also have an impact on making the park an increasingly attractive green space encouraging people to visit and enjoy. Whilst the garden is open to all in our diverse community, it has particular benefits for children in relation to learning and older people who feel the park is a more welcoming and safer place.  For more information contact CVA's ABCD Builder Paul.Macey@cvalive.org.uk.