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Connecting Community At Incredible Education

By Sara Venn

Incredible Education are working on a new site where they will be able to create more opportunities for the people of the Salford area to learn more about growing, connected communities and kindness. The new site, in Eccles, will enable people to come together to create a new community asset for the local area, giving more opportunity for learning and supporting career options for the community, as well as enabling good food experiences.

Recently we have heard much about social prescription. We know getting outside, being with people and connecting with nature is good for us as humans and we also know that social isolation is on the rise, and adding to the amount of people struggling with poor mental health, especially in cities. The team at Incredible Education had already taken part in some research as part of their Green and Growing Network project in partnership with Inspiring Communities Together, with the University of Salford, which stated

“Therapeutic horticulture’ is an intervention which typifies social prescribing as a non-medical, integrated intervention. Therapeutic Horticulture is recognised to be a nature-based approach that promotes green therapies which can have a positive influence on an individual’s social activation”

So the team set about working with the Salford Community and Volunteer service, engaging with local GP’s and setting up a group that can be accessed by people prescribed to the project. Working at the new site, clearing and pruning, and learning how to build beds, the group will also become a vital part of the new project and feel that they are supporting the creation of this new community asset.

Those prescribed to the project will have the opportunity to take part in a taster session, where they will be able to meet members of the Incredible Education team, see the space and understand what roles they will be undertaking whilst talking through the expectations of both the participant and the organisation. Once they have agreed to take part there will always be a team member with them as part of the project and that person will have the support of Lola, a member of the Incredible Education team, who is a mental health nurse.

At the Incredible Edible Network we think this is brilliant. Communities coming together, whilst a seemingly simple concept, can be challenging for many people for many reasons. This project makes a safe space for more vulnerable volunteers to get involved and feel that they are taking part in an important community project, at the same time as using nature and horticulture for therapy. It also introduces people to Incredible Education, and will encourage them to get involved in other parts of the organisation, offering more opportunity to self medicate with horticulture. We’ll update on the project in 2020!!

For more information about Incredible Education go to www.incredibleeducation.co.uk or find them on both Twitter(@incredibleedu) and Facebook.