A woodland garden project in Camden that is a regular destination for service users from our mental health rehabilitation wards at St Pancras as part of their therapeutic activity, has won a top award that celebrates the use of church gardens and churchyards for wellbeing.
The garden at St Paul’s Church, Camden Square, which comes under the Old St Pancras Team Ministry, has been named as the £2,000 winner of the inaugural Green Health Awards sponsored by the Church Times. It was one of ten projects shortlisted throughout the UK.
The project opened in March and offers a woodland garden, opportunities for growing fruit and vegetables, and a refuge for wild life, right in the heart of London. Trust service users visit every week with the support of staff, and have enjoyed participating in a range of activities relating to gardening and conservation.
Tilly Williams, C&I Rehabilitation Psychology Lead, who has been instrumental in the Trust’s involvement in the garden and the development of the project, said: “St Paul’s is a unique project in the area. It encourages people, some of whom have spent much of their adult lives in hospital and are unlikely to engage in mainstream services, to venture out into the community to try a new activity, perhaps for the first time in many years.”
Father James Elston, Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras, said:”It has been wonderful to see how our unused and derelict church garden has been transformed into a space of welcome and fellowship for some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in our community.”
Besides offering the therapeutic benefits of gardening for mental and physical health, the project, delivered by Ben Ledden and Catherine of Green City Projects, connects isolated and lonely people in the community with volunteers from the church congregation.
For the full shortlist of ten finalists, please click here.
Picture: Green city gardening facilitators, Father James Elston and Ash House rehabilitation staff involved in the garden project management. (l-r)Catherine Tidnam – Garden project facilitator, Preena Khatra –Assistant Psychologist, Father James Elston – Team Rector of St Pancras Old Church and St Paul’s Church, Ben Ledden – Garden project facilitator, Thomas Parnell – Montagu Ward Activity Worker, Tilly Williams – Clinical Psychologist (and Rehabilitation Psychology Lead Recovery and Rehabilitation Division)