Gardening project helps treat mental health
A man who battled severe depression for 13 years and attempted
to commit suicide on a number of occasions says he has 'never felt
better' after attending a gardening therapy project funded by the
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.
60 year old Terry Carter began the horticultural programme at
the Bluebell Community Garden in Solihull as a way of tackling his
mental health issues 5 months ago.
The gardening sessions in Chelmsley Wood are run by the
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and received funding from the West
Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's Active Citizens Fund. The
Bluebell Garden supports people with a range of mental health
conditions from mild depression to schizophrenia. Around a dozen
patients are supported at any one time.
Terry Carter's success in battling his depression may never have
happened. In 2016 the site's future was thrown into doubt when
vandals broke into a building on the site used for meetings, breaks
and washing. The criminals pulled out the pipe work to the sink,
ripped out the cupboards, urinated on the floor and smashed all of
It was following that incident that the West Midlands Police and
Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, awarded a grant of £1,366 to
get the project back up and running. It has since gone on to
help many more people battle with mental health issues.
In the garden members aged 18 and over grow a wide range of
vegetables that are then distributed to the most needy in the local
community. They also grow plants and flowers.
Speaking about the Bluebell Community Garden project Terry
Carter said: "It's a wonderful project. It has saved my life. It
helped me pick myself up out of the gutter. I've got happiness back
and that is priceless."
Commenting on the success of the scheme, the West Midlands
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: "I'm delighted
Terry is feeling better. Mental health is an important issue that
is often not taken seriously enough.
"The Bluebell Community Garden is a force for good in the West
Midlands and I was saddened to learn that it was badly vandalised
"I am pleased my grant has been able to help in a small way and
that the Active Citizens Fund has again used criminal's ill-gotten
gains for good in the community."
Anna Squires, the Project Coordinator of the 'Your Wild Life
Project' at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: "The damage to the
cabin last year was awful, it had a huge negative impact on the
volunteers we work with. Many of them said the damage had made them
feel more anxious or depressed.
"The money from the Active Citizens Fund has allowed the
volunteers to transform the building into a clean and welcoming
space which they cherish. It gives us a wonderful space outdoors
where we can support volunteers like Terry to feel