‘The Allotment Project’ will deliver weekly art and gardening activities throughout the year. Based at Eakring Road Allotments in Mansfield, it will engage members of the community who are socially isolated or have mental health issues. The health of people in Mansfield is generally worse than the England average and is among the 20% most deprived areas in the country.
Participants will gain new skills whilst receiving support from artists and health care practitioners. Artistic interventions will have measured outcomes, enhancing the provision of wellbeing opportunities available in the locality.
Ideas behind the project
The Allotment Project is an arts and gardening initiative with an intergenerational approach involving young families through to the elderly. Led by Clare Taylor, an experienced artist, with regular support from qualified medical professionals it will focus upon participants’ health and wellbeing. Access to the scheme will be by self-referral or via health workers.
There is emerging evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and well-being outcomes (The Kings Fund).
Weekly workshops based at Eakring Road Allotments will run for people with mild to moderate mental health problems. Two hour sessions ranging from ceramics to planting will involve a range of indoor and outdoor activities with the opportunity to gain new creative and horticultural skills whilst socialising in a green and accessible space.
The 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation helps illustrate the fact that Mansfield is home to some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. The project will enable people to take greater control of their own health, build new relationships and have a sense of purpose whilst being physically active in a meaningful venture.
The development of interpersonal skills, opportunities for making friends, and increased involvement are among the most important contributions to health that projects can make (NHS, Health Development Agency).
To date, Clare Taylor from Bus and Bird Arts has spent the last ten months researching the project, local residents needs and putting partners in place. Mansfield & District Garden Holder’s Association’s support has been invaluable and we are now at the stage where Clare is looking for funding to furnish the Member’s Centre kitchen so the project can start to engage participants in early 2020.
If you would like to support the project in any way (donations, volunteering or support in kind), please get in touch with Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org