New Wellness Eco-Garden offers help in Dorchester

New Wellness Eco-Garden offers help in Dorchester

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:03am 22nd March 2019. (Updated at 9:14am 22nd March 2019)

The Gap Project will provide a safe place for vulnerable people experiencing isolation or recovering from mental health problems.

A new eco-garden in Dorchester is hoping to help improve people's mental wellbeing.

'The Gap Project' is a combination of three community allotment spaces at Loud's Mill.

The idea has been created by Meyers Estate Agents with Dorset Mind.

Owner, Mark Meyer helped set the scheme up after suffering three years of depression and anxiety, as well as witnessing his father go through the same before he died.  He told Wessex FM: "I spent many years when I was trying to recover working as a volunteer in gardens... and there's nothing better than seeing something that you've done turn into something amazing, if you're trying to build your confidence."

Mark's mother has dementia and his dad died as her carer.

"It was obvious that there was not enough support for people like my dad. If we were going to do a project then it would be a project that my dad would have actually loved to take part in, which could have made a difference to his final days," 

The Gap Project allotments in Dorchester

"The Gap Project"

Louise Regan works for Dorset Mind. She said: "It's called the Gap Project because we're hoping it will bridge the gap for some people who are struggling with depression or loneliness.

"We're hoping it could be something that gets people back into the real world, perhaps back into employment."

People will be able to use the project after a referral from a GP or CAHMS.

Dorset Mind say studies show that eco-therapy can have huge benefits for mental health. Being active, outside and watching something grow are all things that can help with well-being. But there's also the social element of meeting other people in the garden to chat.

The charity focuses on five ways to well-being:

  1. Giving
  2. Learning
  3. Connecting
  4. Being active
  5. Taking notice of your surroundings

The garden's still a work in progress at the moment, but they're hoping it'll be ready to open in June.


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