Those of us who live in London (or anywhere, given the current climate!) know how stressful every day life can get. It’s important that we take the time to consider our own mental health and wellbeing.
While all the projects featured are vital to the physical health of Londoners, these films focus on health and wellbeing, including yours!
Freightliners City Farm – A bit of countryside in the city
Young Farmers at Freightliners City Farm in Islington share with us how central the farm is to their wellbeing.
Freightliners City Farm is a 2.5 acres green space in the very urban London Borough of Islington. It is a small community farm where a diverse range of people take part in farming and gardening and people can visit and spend time in a countryside type environment in the city.
You can find more information online at freightlinersfarm.org.uk.
Here David Lloyd, Growing Lives Project Co-Ordinator at Sydenham Garden in Lewisham, shows how the welcoming accessible gardens are helping people in their recovery from mental and physical ill-health. Their use of horticultural therapy is helping to improve confidence and recuperation, and also helping city kids run wild!
Sydenham Garden enables people to improve their quality of live, social interaction and physical and mental health in a supportive community environment.
You can learn more about their work at sydenhamgarden.org.uk.
Positive Harvest shows the food grown during lockdown by people living with HIV.
The film shares insight from people living with an incurable virus. Though happily HIV now has effective treatment for many, it carried a stigma for years and this is still felt by many HIV positive people.
Through their therapeutic horticulture activities, Positively UK aims to offer support and resources to those who need it.
You can read more about their project online at positivelyuk.org.
An introduction to Core Arts and Core Landscapes
Nemone Mercer shows us the impact gardening can have on positive mental health, leaving the diagnosis at the door.
We are also treated to before and after views of gardens springing up on flat rooves, carparks and brownfield sites, using gardening skills, upcycling and wholesale transportation of small forests across east London!
We also find out how Core Arts inspire Public Health England, as well as many others.
During lock down, Core Landscapes made short gardening films for anyone in any space too – here’s a taster!
You can learn more about Core Arts and Core Landscapes and the work they do throughout London online at corearts.co.uk
Lucy from MindFood explains how normal it is to experience the need for mental health support, especially in London, how we can all support each other and how gardening can really make a difference.
MindFood is an Ealing based charity that supports people with depression, anxiety and stress to improve their wellbeing through gardening and horticulture. They run courses from their two beautiful sites in Ealing and Horsenden Hill, and aim to incorporate the fun of learning how to grow and care for fruit and vegetables, whilst also becoming more mindful of our own mental health and how to improve our wellbeing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, how about following along with this short calming video by MindFood.
Breath in and breath out alongside a wheat field and a strawberry.
If you would like to find out more about MindFood and the courses they offer, check them out online at mindfood.org.uk.
Phoenix Community Garden
Just off Shaftsbury Avenue, Phoenix Community Garden is London’s most central community garden and features famous art by Stikman. If that wasn’t exciting enough, it also starred in the film Last Christmas!
If you feel like you might be missing out, this serene tour set to music is just like being there yourself.
If you’d like to discover more about this green retreat in the heart of West End, check them out online at thephoenixgarden.org.