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Local charities to help more people with mental ill health into work

Run as an organic farm and a training centre, Growing Well provides a safe and supportive working environment to nurture mental health recovery.

[A]dults with mental ill health who want to get into work will benefit from extra help as two South Cumbrian charities join a project led by Cumbria CVS.

Getting Cumbria to Work: Barrow and South Lakeland is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund to support individuals furthest removed from the labour market who are facing multiple and complex barriers to employment.

South Lakeland Mind, which raises awareness and understanding of mental health and provides counselling and peer support, and Growing Well, an organic farm and training centre providing a working environment to nurture mental health recovery, have joined the project to offer specialist support to participants with mental ill health.

New Peer Support Officer, Rob Ford, employed by South Lakeland Mind, will provide extra help to those seeking to secure work to improve their wellbeing and those who want to access opportunities to gain new skills and experience in horticulture, catering and administration at Growing Well.

Clairelouise Chapman Growing Well’s general manager

Growing Well’s General Manager, Clairelouise Chapman, says “This will make a big difference to people who are not only coping with mental ill health but also other hugely challenging situations.

“Everyone is different and our past success shows how important it is to look at each person’s individual needs and tailor the support to meet them. Rob’s professional background and community gardening experience means he will be a great asset to the Growing Well team working alongside our horticultural trainers and occupational therapist.” she explained

“One in four of us will experience some form of mental health problem during our lives. A job not only pays the bills but should be good for you. It provides purpose, company and a sense of being useful, which is essential to human wellbeing. People who need that most, those with mental ill health, often find it hard to be in the workplace” added Clairelouise.

This year also saw the two charities come together for two national initiatives Run Every Day (R.E.D) January and a ‘Time to Talk’.

Anyone wanting to contact Rob Ford can do so on 01539 740591 or by emailing him at [email protected]

Information about Growing Well and South Lakeland Mind can be found on their respective websites: and

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