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Allotment Blog: Planning!

Therapy Garden

“Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values” Dalai Lama

Manchester Mind value collaboration and we always try to ensure we work with organisations, businesses and people who share our beliefs and vision.

From the initial meeting we knew that J. Parker’s were a great fit and it was immediately clear that they share common principles and identify with our core values – Openness, Belonging, Strength, Collaboration.

Of course, they are a horticultural company so that makes sense but this relationship is about much more than that. J. Parker’s understand the key benefits of our project for local people and recognise how they can enrich that with their collaborative efforts. They are hands on and engaged in the project and more than just ticking the corporate social responsibility (CSR) box, they are invested in this as a long-term project that will bring about sustainable impact and real change.

The core team supporting this project are a lovely and talented bunch and what is exciting is we can all learn from one another as we bring different skills to the mix. We are pleased to have an equal relationship from the outset which recognises each other’s strengths and we are – as always – open to learning from our peers.

At the end of our allotment plot is the disused area which we have cleared in preparation for creating our sensory garden.

Amy initially drew up some plans bringing together all our ideas and detailed in text the vision we had arrived at with our volunteers. With those ideas in mind, Richard and Shannen visited to measure and add a more ‘expert’ landscaping and graphic design lens.

After some open discussions back and forth and sharing of ideas the plan was then designed and agreed upon.

We are looking at a complete transformation from desolate space into a beautiful garden thriving with life.

The garden will host seating areas, a solar fountain and a variety of scented plants. Additionally, a sheltered seating area is included to provide private space for support sessions.

J. Parker’s are not only offering products and services, but they will be volunteering staff time for groundwork and planting days too. They will of course be working alongside our dedicated team of volunteers and who knows, maybe a few other friendly faces too! The more the merrier.

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We know that the lifting of all existing restrictions with regard to COVID-19 will for many people be a relief and be welcome, but for others it will be causing great anxiety.

As an organisation we need to ensure that we are managing these changes carefully and have a service update detailing how we will be responding over the coming months.

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