Gainsborough: Tackling mental illness

Spital Hill Allotments have joined forces with Pathways to Wellness (funded by Mentl Illness Prevention Fund),  Gainsborough Town Council and the Woodland Trust to plant native tree saplings within the perimiter of the allotment
Spital Hill Allotments have joined forces with Pathways to Wellness (funded by Mentl Illness Prevention Fund), Gainsborough Town Council and the Woodland Trust to plant native tree saplings within the perimiter of the allotment
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The Spital Hill Allotment site has helped unite the community as groups came together to plant a new hedge along one of its boundaries.

A 120 metre stretch has been planted with hedgerow tree saplings which Gainsborough Town Council was awarded from the Woodland Trust as part of its free tree pack scheme.

The project involved volunteers from the Pathways to Wellness scheme, who assisted with the planting as well as volunteer allotment holders from the site itself.

Pathways to Wellness is a new programme offering coaching and support in Gainsborough to people suffering from mental health issues.

Run by the Riverside Access and Training Centre and funded by the Mental Illness Prevention Fund, it aims to help people help themselves to get well again.

“One in four people will experience some form of mental health issue in any given year,” said Gainsborough wellness coach Catriona Paton.

“This could mean a person has low confidence, feels socially excluded, anxious or depressed.”

Catriona said that being involved in the project had been a ‘huge boost’ to the scheme’s members who volunteered to assist with the planting of the new hedge.

The project is the first of a series of horticultural projects envisaged by Gainsborough Town Council, and volunteers from Pathways to Wellness will be involved as part of a new partnership with the council in the future.

Gainsborough Town Council clerk Matthew Gleadell said he was ‘delighted’ to be able to provide opportunities for members of Pathways to Wellness to get out and be active and enjoy a social afternoon, while doing something for the community at the same time.

The project emerged after allotment holder Michelle Nicholson raised concerns about the lack of a boundary feature along the stretch.

Following a large amount of malicious damage on the site in which a number of greenhouses were smashed, Michelle was keen to see something done with the boundary to aid security on the site.

For more information or an informal chat about the Pathways to Wellness scheme, contact Catriona Paton on 01427 677277.

If you are interested in taking on an allotment site, contact Gainsborough Town Council on 01427 811573.