Curzon Ashton Community Foundation has been awarded a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to the value of £70,000.00 to deliver the ‘Plot to Plate’ project which will aim to tackle loneliness for former armed services veterans.
The Foundation will be working in partnership with Defence Garden Schemes and Tameside MBC to tackle loneliness by delivering horticultural therapy to transitioning and veteran personnel across two outdoor garden sites in both formal horticultural therapy and informal gardening services.
Curzon Ashton Community Foundation will establish a ‘Hub’ and ‘Spoke’ garden based on the successful Defence Garden Scheme model, which has been pioneered at Brooke House in Northern Ireland. This model has been underpinned by extensive research.
The formal ten week (one 3-hour session each week) group intervention will be delivered three times per year (Spring, Summer and Autumn).
Each intervention will have a cohort of eight beneficiaries which will mean at least 48 military veterans will directly benefit from the project across two years.
Building emotional resilience to overcome the causes of loneliness, the intervention includes a focus on self-health for mental health symptoms of anxiety and depression. These techniques include reflection and journaling mindfulness/awareness as well as the use of indirect learning through the use of gardening metaphors on growth and rejuvenation (Spring), hibernation and reflection (Winter) and harvesting (Autumn) and self-care through produce you have learned to grow.
It has already been proven that this form of indirect learning is very helpful for military veterans to understand their range of emotions and feelings and how to handle then better.
Along with the Defence Garden Scheme, the Foundation will be working alongside Tameside Armed Forces Community, DB Nurseries, Tameside MBC and the Military Veterans Service.
For more information on the ‘Plot to Plate’ project, contact Isaac Keast, Military Veterans Development Officer, Curzon Ashton Community Foundation via email at firstname.lastname@example.org