We link up with local charity Greenpath Ventures to get residents volunteering in the big outdoors
This month sees the launch of the national Cultivation Street Campaign, which celebrates the positive impact communal gardening can have on individuals and the community as a whole. From being part of a team, to getting close to nature, there’s no doubt that gardening can make a huge difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.
Here at CENS, we see this positive effect first-hand. Every week our service users are invited to volunteer at a local allotment run by Greenpath Ventures. This amazing charity is dedicated to helping disadvantaged people get away from the stress of everyday life. As well as the allotment project, they offer activity days which include firelighting, tomahawk throwing, fishing and lots of other bushcraft activities.
Understandably, being homeless can be devastating to people’s self-esteem. It leaves many feeling hopeless and disconnected from the rest of society. But, by offering to participate as part of a team, our residents are not only connecting with nature but also themselves. The impact this has on their confidence is huge and it encourages them to make positive changes.
Dale, one of our residents said, “Rob and the others there were really welcoming. I cooked lunch on the fire and it was good to get out and try something different. I’ve never really done much gardening before but I’m looking forward to seeing how the pitches turn out. I ached all over but it was a good ache!”
At CENS our ethos is to be more than just a safe place to sleep. We understand that making permanent changes for people in the awful cycle of homelessness has to include support for their emotional well-being. It’s linking up with charities like Greenpath Ventures that make this possible. To find out more, go to greenpathventures.co.uk. If you can offer our service users volunteering opportunities to improve their mental and emotional health, please do get in touch here.