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Growing Well gets £145,000 for its mental health work

15 tonnes of fruit and vegetables grown each year at Growing Well provide 100 local families with seasonal vegetable bags through a crop share scheme

[A] round of funding successes has secured new resources for Growing Well, an organic farm-based charity promoting mental health recovery and well-being.

It means the 14-year-old charity, based on six acres of land near Kendal (South Cumbria), rented from Low Sizergh Farm a National Trust tenant, has gained funding for the next three years to offer one to one occupational therapy support for participants, and supported catering activity to help people learn independent living skills.  Additionally, £5,000 each year will cover the costs of running the tractor, buying tools and equipment, and even work boots for participants.

A grant of £70,000 has come from The Henry Smith Charity, £60,000 has come from The Tudor Trust and Cumbria Community Foundation has given Growing Well £15,000.

General Manager, Clairelouise Chapman who, along with her team, is tasked with finding around £200,000 a year to meet the charity’s running costs says it’s fantastic news. She said:

“We are a mental health charity that offers a free service to anyone having a hard time with their mental health.  As an organic farm, we offer lots of ways for people to become involved with our work, being active and feeling valued, as well as supported to move forwards from illness.

People can get in touch with us directly, or ask their GP about us. We rely upon charitable donations to enable us to do our work. A big part of my job is to look for money so we can make sure our service is free for anyone who needs it.

“It’s great news to know we can staff our planned new field kitchen, which is a critical part of our therapeutic programme. Many people with poor mental health struggle to look after themselves, so a free hot, healthy lunch is really important!

“Our next job is to fundraise for its contents which includes cooking equipment, storage and a lot of stainless steel. We will be launching a crowd fundraising appeal in the New Year with a target of £10,000. In the mean time we would love to hear from anyone who could help us with our shopping list of equipment.”

To find out more about the work of Growing Well and the services it offers visit: https://growingwell.co.uk/ or to contact Clairelouise Chapman call 015395 61777.

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