Mansfield and Ashfield horticultural club lands £168,000 cashpot from Big Lottery Fund

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A MANSFIELD and Ashfield based club which offers theraputic horticultural activites for people with mental health issues has scooped a £168,000 funding boost.

Hope Springs Horticulture CIC officially closed last year after its funding was cut, but the core team set themselves up as a community interest company to ensure that the many people it helps would continue to receive support.

The group will now use the Big Lottery Fund cash to run six horticultural therapy sessions each week over three days for up to 10 people per session.

Activities will include a ‘green gym’ using digging, pruning and weeding for physical exercise through to learning different skills such as plant propagation, planting and harvesting vegetables.

Attendees can also join in with cookery demonstrations using the produce grown whilst learning how to cook and discover healthy eating.

Peer mentoring and volunteering will also be arranged for people to support each other in different project groups.

Helen Power, from Hope Springs Horticulture CIC said the huge cashpot was vital to the future of the group.

“Being awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund has been a lifeline to the project and all those who use it,” she said. “It is a source of support and an opportunity to socialise, which helps to maintain mental wellbeing.

“It also provides the opportunity to gain skills and take part in physical activities benefitting overall health. We have worked hard over the past year to keep the project running after funding from Nottinghamshire County Council was cut. After two years of uncertainty we are now able to look to the future and be able to offer a valuable service to some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”