The Abbey Physic Community Garden

The Abbey Physic Community Garden is a half-acre award winning therapeutic community garden in the heart of Faversham. The Garden offers the therapeutic benefits of horticulture and outdoor activities for people with mental health issues, physical disabilities, learning difficulties and people that are socially isolated or socially and economically disadvantaged. 

They have seen a continual increase in referrals from the local Mental Health Support Teams, Occupational Therapists, hospitals and Job Centres over the last 12 months. The funding allows them to run a tailored programme of activities in a safe, inclusive environment that helps people improve mental health and wellbeing, strengthen their confidence, skills-set, resilience and self-esteem and allows them to return to work or education and reintegrate back into their community. Member feel valued as members of a wider community, tackling their challenges as a community rather than as individuals. 

In the last 12 months, their member numbers have increased by 35% and they have attracted over 5000 visitors. Some members have increased their skills and confidence to the point where they are able to project lead activities and pass on skills to others. Being a member of the Garden gives people the opportunity to give something back to the community, for example; running events and workshops like wildlife gardening sessions or outdoor jam making sessions. Evidence that members have developed their confidence and self-esteem is demonstrated by how many are now in positions of responsibility.

Community Garden

As a result of my work at the garden, I know that I have a valued role in society and can make a positive contribution to it. This has improved my self-esteem and confidence. When I am out and about in town, people recognise me from the garden and say hello. I no longer feel socially isolated. 
Member, The Abbey Physic Community Garden

Being in the garden makes you forget for a while that you have a ‘mental health’ problem. I have got part of myself back; the garden gives you an inner peace. 
Member, The Abbey Physic Community Garden