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£10K for farm based charity with social prescribing scheme

Homepage » News » £10K for farm based charity with social prescribing scheme

£10K for farm based charity with social prescribing scheme

Posted on Wednesday 16th July 2014

A charitable social enterprise that engages with people recovering from common and complex mental health issues has been awarded £10,000 worth of funding from NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) South Lakes Locality. 

Growing Well, based at Low Sizergh Farm near Kendal, offers local people recovering from mental health problems with an effective and therapeutic working environment in which to build their skills and confidence.  People are provided with dedicated one to one support helping them on their recovery journey as part of an inclusive farm based community. 

Since February 2012, NHS Cumbria CCG’s South Lakes Locality has collaborated with Growing Well to develop a pilot programme that enables GPs to refer patients with mental health issues to Growing Well quickly and easily, which was supported by funding from the Northern Rock Foundation.

Participants initially work within Growing Well organic horticulture enterprise for one day a week and are supported by skilled staff who enable them to focus on goal setting and moving on to other activities in the local community.  Participants experience support, develop new skills, social confidence and improve their own wellbeing and social functioning. 

Dr Jim Hacking, NHS Cumbria CCG’s Lead GP for Mental Health and Deputy Chair for South Lakes Locality said: “We have worked closely with Growing Well since February 2012 to develop this project.  Growing Well engages participants in physical activity that improves their mental and physical wellbeing which in turn helps them on their road to recovery.  We are very pleased to be able to offer our continued support for this innovative project that provides a very valuable service to both patients and GPs in South Cumbria.” 

Beren Aldridge, Therapeutic Coordinator for Growing Well, added: “Participants involved in this service have noted that working in our organic growing enterprise has made a significant impact on their mental and physical wellbeing, getting them back on track with their lives.  We have been delighted with the supportive relationships we’ve been able to develop with GP practices around the South Lakes as a result of this project and this financial support from NHS Cumbria CCG will enable us to continue this valuable work in the coming year.”

By June 2014, the ‘Social Prescribing’ pilot had received over 80 referrals and had engaged with 17 GP Practices including 11 in South Lakeland.  Of the 61 people who started a placement at Growing Well, seven attained paid work, three voluntary work, one has joined a community project and five people have gained formal qualifications.  

Posted on Wednesday 16th July 2014


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