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Gardening for the mind

"I have no idea what I would be doing if it wasn’t for Roots, it’s done so much for me."

Dan* is now in his twenties. He's been a volunteer for Help & Care's Roots program for three years.

Dan said, “I used to spend a lot of time on my own, I did not want to leave the house, I slept constantly and felt like I had nothing to get up for, I felt alienated.

"When I heard about Roots I didn’t give it much thought, I just thought I would go to one session and see what happened. Now I am part of the team and I feel like I have something to get up for in the morning."

Roots provides support and encouragement to help people who are recovering from mental health issues by establishing work routines, building skills and confidence as volunteer trainees.

I like the fact that I am in the company of other people, over the years I have made some really good friends. I enjoy the fresh air and gardening and I get a real sense of achievement and satisfaction when we finish a garden. I love looking at the before and after photos! When you see the older person come out and look at their garden after we have been at work you can see the joy on their face. I often imagine them inviting their friends over to show them how good it looks.


Roots helps people achieve good mental health by establishing links to training and development support and if appropriate, NVQ qualifications. The volunteers are trained and supervised by a Help and Care Garden Services Worker.

Peter* is in his forties and has been volunteering at Roots for two years. Peter said, "I used to work in an office but I became unwell and suffered from psychotic episodes and depression. I am now recovering and starting to feel so much better. I want to put something back into the community.  


"Being part of Roots gives me some structure to my day, it’s a reason to get up in the morning. My self esteem is improving all the time and I feel more positive about life.”


*Names have been changed to protect their identities.

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