Grow Outdoors at Sowenna

The Sowenna Appeal profile

Project by The Sowenna Appeal

We did it
On 13th September 2019 we successfully raised £16,220 with 70 supporters in 98 days

Raise £12,000 for sensory gardens and horticulture at Sowenna to support young people with severe mental health illness to get better

New stretch target

The more we raise the more we will be able to support the young people in their therapeutic journey. 

We would like to have a number of raised beds for young people to get involved in the cycle of planting, sewing, growing and harvesting. 

We would like to purchase planting for all of the sensory areas of the gardens and look at installing a calming water feature. 

We would be able to purchase more art suppplies to be used on the outdoor chalkboard art wall. 

Every penny we raise will make a difference to the young people in our care at Sowenna. Thank you for your support. 

Grow Outdoors at Sowenna

Grow Outdoors aims to raise £12,000 to go towards raised beds, sensory planters, and a blackboard wall for outdoor art expression and therapy, that will be part of a young person’s therapeutic journey at Sowenna. It will enable the young people to plant, nurture and sow herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Therapeutic horticulture is the process of working with plants to improve physical and psychological health, and communication and thinking skills. Gardening is like exercise for the mind. It grounds you to the earth and forces you to slow down. It teaches you patience and persistence. It gives you back a sense of control.

Sowing seeds and tending to plants is a process that not all of us experience, but is something that can have massive benefits to mental wellbeing. Nurturing something bigger than you gives a sense of stability and control, and anyone who has experienced a mental health disorder will know that that has been taken away from you.

‘The importance of ‘green therapies’ for young people with mental health difficulties is well established. Having a well-developed and nurtured green space at Sowenna will be of a great holistic benefit to the unwell young people receiving treatment at the hospital.’ 

Dr Sebastian Rotheray - CAMHS Crisis and Inpatient Consultant.

Having these resources at Sowenna will make a massive difference to young people and their recovery. By nurturing plants, the patients will learn to nurture themselves, and invest in the beauty of their lives – they are planning for a future.

The Sowenna Appeal 

The Sowenna Appeal is raising money for the first mental health hospital for children and young people in Cornwall and beyond. Cornish children are regularly sent to facilities hundreds of miles from home, away from friends and family, which can often make the situation worse. Recent figures show that 587 young people were admitted to child and adolescent mental health units away from home in the first six months of 2018/19. This is why Sowenna is going to be such a vital part of the community.

Sowenna was named by young people, meaning ‘Success’ and ‘Welfare’ in Cornish.

Why do we need Sowenna?

Data published by the NHS estimates that 1 in 9 young people aged between 5 and 16 have a mental health disorder, and ¾ of all mental illnesses begin in childhood. Evidence shows that early intervention can reduce the likelihood of poor mental health as an adult. 

Sowenna will provide a safe space where young people will be supported in their recovery from severe mental illness. Sending vulnerable children far from home, where parents have to travel long distances to visit, can have a devastating impact on the child and their families. Sowenna will support approximately 116 young people each year, either in hospital or as an outpatient, and we will be offering each patient a personalised programme of care. Jane Ninnis, a parent and a Sowenna Appeal board member, explains her first hand experience in our short film below.

The Sowenna Appeal is raising funds to provide facilities and equipment that go above and beyond the build and hospital beds funded by the NHS. 'Icing on the cake' items, and specialist areas that will make a difference to young peoples’ recovery, and health and wellbeing, will transform Cornwall’s first child and adolescent mental health unit from a high quality centre, to the best in the country. 

This will include:

  • A multipurpose activity barn for team sports and performing arts.
  • Parental accommodation to allow families to stay over and make admission less unsettling.
  • A café area to allow visits with family and friends to happen in a friendly space.
  • A gym; plus fitness, yoga and sports equipment.
  • Therapeutic and sensory gardens.
  • Equipment for music, art and cooking.

“Sowenna enables a collaboration of medical support with the holistic needs of a person whether it be social, physical or environmental, which is fundamental for the success of regaining balance of an individual’s mental health and therefore more likely to aid long term success.”

Laura Penhaul, Founder of Adaptive Performance.

Young people are at the heart of Sowenna and the modern, inherently fun design has been created in consultation with young people; walls will be bright and colourful with artwork which reflects the beauty of Cornwall; and the sports and activity facilities reflect hobbies that young people enjoy or would like to try. 

Our ultimate goal is to avoid a clinical feel in the hospital, ensure young people maintain essential links with their friends, families and local communities, and to offer a holistic and innovative approach to mental health care.

Every penny we raise will make a difference to the young people in our care at Sowenna. Thank you for your support.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

Sowenna Helper

Thank you for supporting Sowenna's Grow Outdoors Project.

£20 or more

4 of 50 claimed

Sowenna Star

We will add you to our Sowenna Star board on our website.

£50 or more

7 of 50 claimed

Sowenna Sunshine

We will add you to our Sowenna Star board on our website and send you a thankyou card for supporting Sowenna's Grow Outdoors Project and becoming a Sowenna Sunshine.

£250 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Sowenna Tour

A tour with The Sowenna Appeal Director and a member of the clinical team. A chance to see this amazing project and the difference your support will make to the young people staying at Sowenna.

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