Eden Rose Coppice Trust aims to improve people’s lives through immersion in nature. It restores and transforms neglected urban woodlands to enrich and improve the lives of communities, especially for those who have mental health issues or are terminally ill.
In between lockdowns, this group have offered socially distanced gardening sessions in Sudbury for individuals with mental health issues. As Covid-19 restrictions begin to ease, interest in their gardening sessions has increased dramatically, and as many as 20-30 clients will look to attend the site each week. Social distancing and self-isolation measures have resulted in isolation and loneliness for many vulnerable adults, adversely affecting their mental health. Gardening and spending time outdoors help to reduce depression and anxiety and improve quality of life, making it beneficial to those with mental health issues.
It’s no surprise to us at Eden-Rose Coppice Trust that isolation and distancing affect mental health in these tough times. From our phone conversations with our woodland users, it became clear that a project was needed to encourage safe transition from lockdown to as near normal as we can all expect. Whilst our four woodlands support our friends affected by cancer, our garden in our woodland retreat in Sudbury became the focus for those who were a little unsure of leaving isolation safely. With first come first served, we immediately met four people who wanted to try some simple gardening in a secure woodland as a focus of safely leaving their homes. The change in mental attitude was tremendous as a stepped transition to a safe near normal. The help that Suffolk Community Foundation gave us to develop this project was invaluable to help us meet the high demand.