Through the Trust’s Spotlight Fund, in 2019 we began to support Growing Together Levenshulme. This highly valuable therapeutic space and support network, otherwise known as ‘the garden’, is a set of allotment plots in South Manchester offering weekly therapeutic horticulture sessions to refugees and people seeking asylum. All of their participant-led activities are focused on improving mental wellbeing and physical health, as well as building confidence, skills and a sense of community.
The project supports people to develop the resilience to survive the stresses of previous trauma, and life as refugees or people seeking asylum in the UK. The allotments also provide organic fruit and vegetables which are then cooked by the group for their communal lunches.
The project has enabled people with insecure immigration status to develop a sense of ownership of the space and build real connections with others. As one person says: “The reason why I come here is to discover a new thing, to be among people, to feel like I’m not feeling alone. It stops me from isolating myself. When I’m here, talking to people, I forget myself, it brings me happiness and joy. It’s more than a tablet for me. I wish I could always be here to make myself happy and comfortable, to heal myself.”