Volunteer co-ordinator at Hyde Park Source BEHLA HUTCHINSON writes about how you can get ‘outdoors and active’ and improve your wellbeing in 2017 with gardening groups across Leeds – include one at Armley Mills Industrial Museum and four at TCV Hollybush in Kirkstall:
“Gardening reduces depression, loneliness, anxiety, stress and the likelihood of suffering from heart disease, cancer and obesity” (so says The King’s Fund think tank found).
So why aren’t we all doing it?
Maybe you don’t have a garden, the skills or knowledge to start growing, the time or the money to start on your own … don’t worry help is at hand.
Hyde Park Source, TCV Hollybush and Leeds Mind are offering free, supported groups for people wanting to get outside, be productive and feel good about it, through a new Big Lottery funded project ‘Outdoors, Active and Well’.
Many people across Leeds are experiencing mental ill-health, such as anxiety and depression, this project offers safe and supportive spaces to build friendships and improve confidence.
Alongside the practical groups there is also a number of Peer Groups, run by Leeds Mind, encouraging people to help one another, sharing experiences and coping strategies.
If you think you might be interested give them a call, you will talk to someone who will chat about the different groups and help you chose one.
Don’t worry if you’ve never done anything like this before, the groups are really friendly, and you can take things at your own pace. We do lots of different activities, share skills and stories and make sure we leave feeling better than when we came.
Groups are located across Leeds and details can be found on their website or by calling: 0113 2262623
The project was awarded money from the Big Lottery’s ‘Reaching Communities’ fund for the next three years, with the aims of improving people’s health, skills and building social networks.
One of the groups, based at the garden of Armley Mills Industrial Museum meets every Thursday afternoon and has transformed the garden whilst learning and sharing skills, stories and lots of tea!
On participant at Armley Mills told us:
“I was really anxious the first time I came, I hadn’t been out and about much and it was a big step. I was made to feel really welcome and I got stuck in. Now I look forward to it, getting to know people, feeling useful and learning things.”
So whether it’s you, a family member, a friend or a colleague who could do with getting out, being active and feeling well get in touch: