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After one of our employees needed help with mental health problems, we decided to donate some money to the Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) to support a Swindon-based therapeutic allotment project.
We made the donation of £1,500 after one of our team experienced psychosis and needed the help of Swindon Early Intervention in Psychosis (EI) team – one of the services provided by the Trust.
The EI Team supports individuals experiencing their first episode of psychosis – when people to perceive or interpret things differently from those around them, sometimes involving hallucinations or delusions.
Within a week of receiving the money, the EI team had secured an allotment site, which Swindon Borough Council kindly cleared, mowed and rotovated.
“This donation will provide a large workshop on the allotment which can be used all year round by our service users,” said Helen Mills, Community Mental Health Nurse at AWP. “We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support.”
James Ducker, our director, said: “I have been fortunate to see at first hand the truly caring, compassionate approach with which the EI team has supported a much-loved friend and colleague with his challenging, and at times really frightening, illness. Thankfully he has now returned to work.
“I know that Helen and her colleagues will use this project to help the recovery process.”
The allotment will provide service users with an area where they can be at peace and build their motivation and concentration. This will promote recovery, helping them to regain their confidence and return to their daily lives. The low ongoing cost of renting the allotment means that the project will remain affordable and sustainable well into the future.
Below are some BBC Radio Wiltshire snippets of interviews about the event:
Swindon Link’s report of the project is here