Grow was recently been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund and South Downs National Park Authority which will secure their future for the next 3 years.

Grow began life as a small pilot project within Mind in Brighton and Hove funded by Ecominds in 2011. Following the success of the pilot it has become an independent user-led community group, which works with people with mental health issues in Brighton & Hove, and beyond, and aims to improve wellbeing by supporting people to connect with the beautiful Sussex countryside that surrounds the City. Working in partnership with the National Trust, Grow meets weekly in small supported groups up at Saddlescombe Farm and enjoys activities such as conservation work, nature walks, green woodworking and mindfulness, and the chance to enjoy the therapeutic benefits that being in the countryside can offer.

Jo Wren, Director, said of the award “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this funding. It will allow us to continue to run our weekly groups but will also give us the opportunity to offer more long-term support through weekly drop-in days at Stanmer Park.

Members can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of connecting with nature and heart-warming community. Being out in nature really benefits wellbeing – it’s been shown to improve mood, self-esteem, motivation, energy and give a sense of connection and meaning.

Grow runs 8-week closed groups (with weekly follow-on days afterwards) in a friendly and supportive environment, so you can connect with nature in the magical Sussex countryside. From gentle activities like mindfulness, picnics, creativity, wild-food foraging, tea and chat; to more physical activities with The National Trust like conservation, guided nature walks, shepherding and woodworking.  All activities are optional and designed to suit varying moods/ energy-levels. Grow is free, including lunch and minibus transport from Brighton.

It is a warm-hearted community designed for people who’ve experienced (or feel they’re at risk of) depression, anxiety and other mild to moderate mental health issues.

The next 8-week Season runs on Thursdays from October 30th – December 18th. It’s a lovely way to experience the beauty of autumn’s colours, hot soup around real fires and seasonal nature festivities.

Participants report:

“I’m more relaxed, happier, more optimistic.”
“I thought it was brilliant that there was no pressure to do anything – by not having the pressure to do things, it sort of encouraged me to do them more.”
“I felt really valued, it’s inspired me to do all sorts of new things.”

Find out how nature can improve your wellbeing and help you feel more alive and connected at email
call 07557 501557

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