A grant from People’s Postcode Trust has helped fund our Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Volunteer Project.
Created in 2011 for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Festival of Britain, the Garden provides essential green space in the heart of Lambeth and is maintained year-round by a regular group of volunteer gardeners who are overcoming homelessness, mental health problems and addictions. Horticulture is therapy during this recovery and equips the group with the skills needed to re-establish their everyday lives and relationships, including getting back into work.
Volunteers work year-round to ensure the Garden flourishes. The volunteer gardeners have different needs depending on the issues they are overcoming which may include mental health problems and addiction. They share a need for stability and routine, as well as support to succeed in their work. Their involvement has helped to boost self-confidence and wellbeing, reduce anxiety and social isolation, and improve personal relationships and communication skills.
As well as providing horticultural therapy, the project equips volunteers with a multitude of professional gardening and other skills such as carpentry, to support them in their return to employment.
Southbank Centre’s home borough of Lambeth has a complex social and ethnic mix and is amongst the 30% most deprived areas in Britain, according to the National Indices of Deprivation (2015). The diverse socio-economic make-up of its residents means that there is a real need for free cultural, educational and leisure spaces, ensuring that cost is removed as a potential social barrier.
The Garden provides a vital green space in a densely populated urban area and is a source of relaxation, engagement with nature and increased welfare for gardeners and visitors alike. It also offers free or subsidised learning opportunities for the local community which present new ways to learn outside of conventional education.
Contact Hannah Morrison, Head of Grants and Trusts (Maternity Cover)
Tel: 020 7960 4318