New healing garden launched in London

by Drucilla James

credit: Gardening Leave

Two charities have come together to create a safe and tranquil space for troubled ex-service personnel to enjoy the benefits of gardening.

Gardening Leave, a charity which rehabilitates people with combat-related mental health issues, has created its first outreach garden at a supported housing unit run by Community Housing and Therapy (CHT) for homeless and traumatised veterans.

The tarmac courtyard in the shadow of Wormwood Scrubs Prison in East Acton, has been transformed into a garden refuge with seating and a quiet area as well as raised wooden beds for herb, vegetable and salad growing. Weekly sessions with a horticultural therapist will also be available.

“Many of the veterans from CHT Home Base find the challenges of public transport difficult, so we decided to bring the garden to them. We all know that green environments help lift moods and the horticultural therapy can have a big impact on veterans’ ability to make the transition to civilian life,” said Heather Budge- Reid Gardening Leave’s Chief Executive.

As well as two projects in Scotland, Gardening Leave is also responsible for a veterans’ garden in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

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