Life at No.27 provides gardening therapy, mental health support and counselling to children and adults struggling with mental ill health, isolation, low confidence and self-esteem. All accessible via SEND school lead, CAMHS, GP, psychiatrist or social worker referral.
Our aim is to support you to grow in confidence and self-belief, whilst offering a safe space for you to talk, be yourself, learn new transferrable skills and meet others. All whilst connecting with nature, your creativity and learning how to grow and prepare your own food.
We are a Community Interest Company (CIC) based across Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and South Wales.
In Jan 2023 we successfully Crowdfunded to set up a new organic no-dig therapy garden in Ystrystradgynlais, South Wales. We will be providing new weekly children's after school club and adult's weekly mental health group for those struggling with mental ill health.
Our long-term mission is to become a UK wide mental health organisation and leading horticultural therapy provider. Using our unique partnership of horticultural therapy and psychotherapy at bespoke therapy gardens across the UK to help change lives.
What is next for Life at No.27?
We are raising money to set up our next Life at No.27 therapy allotments and garden, within the grounds of Brynawel House Rehabilitation Centre in South Wales. Where we will offer free and low-cost gardening therapy and mental health support sessions for adults and their families.
Brynawel House is the leading rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol dependencies in Wales. Brynawel is also the only rehab in Wales specialised to support those with alcohol related brain disease (ARBD).
The funding will enable us to meet the key principles associated with the psychosocial rehabilitation of clients by:
- Giving clients their own allotment space that provides a level of ownership and autonomy.
- Offering a safe, open outdoor space to talk with a professional and work through their challenges, thought processes and emotions.
- Offering bespoke activities and recovery plans for clients, within group, 1-1 and family sessions.
- Teaching tangible skills that clients can use when back at home to maintain recovery and connection to nature.
- Teaching new physical skills, such as taking care of soil, plants, wildlife and self. Gardening, garden design and nature-based crafts.
- Building transferable skills, such as resilience, patience, confidence and self-belief.
- Helping people gain employability skills, alongside improved mental health then assisting people back into paid and unpaid employment.
- Creating opportunities for clients to engage in bespoke sessions to improve the effects of alcohol related brain disease, which include fine motor skills, memory challenges, coordination and social skills.
- Creating opportunities for clients to connect with peers, community and family members.
- Creating opportunities for clients to connect and develop relationships with each other, about something other than recovery.
- Opportunity to give back and help raise funds.
We will do this by offering:
- Weekly group horticultural therapy sessions for Brynawel residents and clients from the wider community referred via their GP, social worker or other mental health professional.
- 1-1 bespoke horticultural therapy sessions for Brynawel residents and clients from the wider community referred via their GP, social worker or other mental health professional.
- Individual allotments (2.5m x 4m approx) available for clients, with weekly hands-on growing support and therapy
- Outdoor horticultural therapy sessions and workshops available to families on visits
- A Kitchen Garden for anyone (clients, staff, volunteers) who wants to get involved with growing and learning, with additional produce going into the kitchen on site and an honesty box, to help us raise funds and connect with the community.
- Social enterprise element where clients and volunteers will work together to sow, grow, nurture plants and produce to sell to the community. Teaching vital skills such as growing plants and business planning. Clients working on prices, names, marketing, connecting with the community, selling etc.
Here is a photo of the fantastic plot of land which we have been donated to set up the new site on:
Here is our design:
Life at No.27 & the cost of living crisis
The current cost of living crisis is affecting so many including Life at No.27. We want to be able to continue supporting those in need. Every £1 donated to this campaign will go towards helping us make a difference. To enable us to work with vulnerable members of the community. To increasing positive mental health and wellbeing while teaching valuable life skills and building confidence. Many of our participants have gone on to secure employment, giving them financial security. Please read what some of our past participants have to say below:
“As someone who has tried CBT and talking therapy but felt awkward being face to face with a stranger in a therapy room, seeing Annabelle in the garden is a different experience. Annabelle puts me at ease and having the fresh air, plants, birds, mindful tasks like planting seeds, weeding, touching and smelling the herbs, takes away all my self-consciousness and allows me to think, feel and speak freely. It has given me the courage and clarity to make really significant changes in my life, and ongoing support to navigate any difficulties and maintain the positives“
ADULT 1-2-1 CLIENT
"Since gaining a small allotment at ‘Life at No.27’ my mental health and general well being has never been so good. The opportunity to work with a piece of land and turn it into a sustainable food source has been fantastic. I have planted and sowed seeds and week by week watched them turn into a full meal for my family and I. It has given me headspace and perspective which no medication could and I am so grateful for this.”
ADULT ALLOTMENT HOLDER
"In March 2022, I saw an advert on Facebook about Life at No.27 and to reach out if you felt you needed help with your mental health. I’d previously started DBT therapy but because I was a new mum, they said I was unable to take my baby along to the sessions and so I was back to square one in terms of seeking help. When I saw this Facebook post from Annabelle, it intrigued me as despite never having any experience of gardening or growing from seed, I love being outdoors and know that it helps me with my mental health. I bit the bullet and thought “well I’ve tried everything else what have I got to lose”?
I booked an initial consultation with Annabelle which I was ridiculously anxious for but she was approachable, understanding and kind. She literally took all the hard work from me and contacted my GP to get the referral so I could access the service. The whole process only took a matter of two weeks, incredible as NHS waiting lists for accessing mental health services I needed were months/years long.
In summer 2022, I was harvesting my first lot of vegetables. It brought me so much excitement and joy and I loved having the time twice a week to do something I loved. However, Summer 2022 also brought a new challenge to me. I was offered a new job working with SEND & disadvantaged pupils which was something I had always wanted to do, but it meant working full time. I had only worked part time due to my mental health issues so this was a big leap for me. It also meant that the comfort & routine of having Life at No.27 twice a week would have to give, the people I’d grown to love I wouldn’t see anymore and generally a lot of change. I made the decision to go for it...
Meeting Annabelle and joining the Life at No.27 programme changed the course of my life, and I will forever be grateful for her and her team for being there for me when I felt unheard and alone. Life at No.27 was pivotal for me. I have a long way to go on my mental health journey, but knowing she will always be there if I ever needed her again, is comfort enough to try to work through life’s challenges."
You can read their full testimonial here.
ADULT ALLOTMENT HOLDER
How can you help?
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality:
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. If you want to run your own fundraiser to support us, maybe a sponsored activity or similar, use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!