Volunteers who sow seeds for mental health have reaped a lucrative harvest as it celebrates growing awareness in the fight against the stigma in Rochdale.
The Growth Project, which works with people suffering from mental health issues, takes derelict allotments and turns them into gardens, works of art, habitats for wildlife, ponds, and shelters.
The allotment was in full bloom with the public and politicians invited to appreciate the handiwork of the service users as part of the National Garden Scheme.
Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd, who attended the event, praised the charity as a “beacon” in the growing mental health crisis.
Mr Lloyd said: “We have seen time and again the promise of real action from this government but yet we are faced with an ever growing crisis in our health system. Despite the chronic underfunding for mental health services, it’s projects like the The Growth Project that are a little beacon making a difference among those in need.”
The project, which is a partnership between Rochdale District Mind and Hourglass, operates two days a week in the borough.
The green-fingered initiative raised over £500 for the National Garden Scheme and volunteers reaped the rewards of their harvest with a sell out of homemade preserves, cakes, fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Karen Hayday, Director of Hourglass Environmental, said:
”The work on The Growth Project by all the service users and volunteers in the pouring rain paid off making us all feel very elated, though very tired by the end.
She added: “The gardens looked glorious and it was also great to see many of the borough’s councillors attending and of course our new MP, who stayed, talked to everyone and hopes to come back to get to know all our service users.”