Healthier Community through
A Cadent Foundation Project
“Healthier Community through Sustainable Gardening” will involve 100 local community members of Aston and Small Heath, particularly from B6 and B10 postcode areas, to teach them gardening through one to one support: from sowing a seed, producing compost from waste to harvesting the fruits and vegetable- all year round. Also, using gardening as a tool to bring people together, this project will address the mental health issues and provide free yoga sessions to reduce isolation, loneliness and depression and increase confidence among the participant beneficiaries.
From the previous projects conducted in the similar ground, New Hope Global (NHG) has learned that gardening is a useful tool and highly popular hobby among the Bangladeshi community, however mental health is taboo when it comes to discussing in public, let alone to consider a professional consultancy to address the problem. Moreover, based on beneficiaries’ demand from previous feedback survey, we have designed this project where beneficiaries will come together to learn and practice gardening, discuss their mental health issues, get free mental health advice and yoga training. It is also noticeable that the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has forced a majority of us to stay at home, which stemmed from the mental health issue and increased vulnerability among the Bangladeshi community members, who were
already suffering from isolation and loneliness. This was evident from a recent telephone interview with community members during the lockdown.
One aspect of this project is “Sustainable Gardening”, by which we mean, we will teach and inspire our beneficiaries to carry out all-year-round gardening. By using kitchen waste to produce compost and learning basic DIY to make their greenhouse for winter gardening, beneficiaries will not only enjoy the fresh organic produce and herbs but also will save money in their regular shopping. This project will also engage our beneficiaries in growing vegetables and fruits together in the local allotment, which will be a practical approach to learn gardening techniques as well as develop a community-based relationship among them.
Another aspect of this project will address one of the undermined problems among Bangladeshi community members in the Aston and Small Heath area, which is mental health. It is proven from the various study that poverty and deprivation are intricately linked with mental health issue, especially among the BAME community. This project will enable our beneficiaries to access professional mental health advice and yoga sessions followed by gardening workshops once a week in each targeted areas. This will help our beneficiaries to discuss their mental health problems and reduce their loneliness and isolation by taking part in mental health support and yoga sessions.