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Green Space and good mental health

Local Groups using Green Space to promote Good Mental Health

At our March BECBC Social Value Group Meeting we were talking about mental health support via outdoor activity.

We had presentations from 2 great local charities who work in this field. Growing Well and Good Lives share a commitment to fostering well-being within the West Cumbria community. Despite their similarities, each organisation brings its own unique approach to the area.

The Similarities:

  1. Location and Charitable Aim: Both Growing Well and Good Lives are based in West Cumbria and share the overarching goal of supporting mental health and well-being.
  2. Using Green Space: Both organisations recognise the profound impact of green spaces on mental health and use horticultural activities as a central part of their intervention strategies.
  3. Outcome Measurement: Both Growing Well and Good Lives assess and measure the outcomes of their interventions, ensuring accountability and effectiveness in their programmes.

The Differences:

  1. Focus and Scope: Growing Well concentrates solely on horticultural therapy while Good Lives adopts a broader approach, addressing social, emotional, and mental health needs alongside offering skills training and employability support.
  2. Target Participants: Growing Well primarily caters to individuals with moderate to severe mental health needs, while Good Lives helps individuals to develop skills and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Working Collaboratively.

Despite their differences, Growing Well and Good Lives recognise the importance of collaboration to support mental health and well-being within the community. They will collaborate on various fronts including cross-referrals, sharing resources and expertise, and as both organisations sell what they grow, they will work together to address supply chain issues. By joining forces, they can spread their impact and reach.

The Importance of Green Space in Mental Health:

It is well documented that green spaces offer a calm and nurturing environment that is conducive to relaxation and reducing stress levels. Engaging in horticultural activities promotes physical activity, skill development, and social interaction, all of which are essential for maintaining good mental health.

How you can offer support?

There are several ways organisations can support organisations like Good Lives and Growing Well:

  1. Referrals: If you know someone who could benefit from their services, refer them to Good Lives or Growing Well.
  2. Spread Awareness: Share information about Good Lives and Growing Well within your work place.
  3. Volunteering: Encourage colleagues, friends, and family to volunteer with Good Lives or Growing Well. Volunteers provide valuable support to these organisations.
  4. Contact Karen Jones and Mary Smith: To learn more contact Karen Jones ( and Mary Smith (

By supporting Good Lives and Growing Well you can play a crucial role in helping these organisations continue their valuable work in supporting mental health and vocational training in our community.

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