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Myakka Blog

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Supporting Somerset

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

As part of our continual support of the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) and the Myakka Grass root funds we have recently made a donation to the Growing Space, Wincanton.

Now spring has sprung it is apt that the most recent to benefit is The Growing Space, a charity that organises gardening activities for both adults and children at The Balsam Centre in Wincanton.

The Growing Space began in 2001 as a social and therapeutic horticulture charity, a term used to describe the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health. The benefits will strike a chord with most people, but as Andy Ridgewell, Programmes Manager at SCF, says: "it's interesting to see the ways that local organisations are turning to gardening to achieve positive changes in their communities."

Nick Truman is the Community Horticultural Worker at the Balsam Centre and through The Growing Space is currently working
with 40 adults and 30 children. He uses an extensive range of horticultural activities based on producing cut flowers, fruit and vegetables for the Balsam Centre's café and the general maintenance of the gardens to enhance the enjoyment of the whole community.

The charity has partnerships with local mental health services, adult social care teams, GP's, schools, local authorities and community based mutual support groups. Nick says: "in addition to the more obvious benefits gained from gardening, there are many additional welfare aspects. The garden is used as a safe and secure place to develop someone's ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent."

On presenting a cheque for £2,000 Simon, one of Myakka’s founders, said: "this is such an inspirational charity. It builds on a very basic human need to be outside engaging with nature, but takes it one step further. There is obviously a financial commitment for The Growing Space to be able to put their good work into practice and Myakka is delighted to be able to provide financial support."

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