Image for Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group, Gardening for Wellbeing

Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group, Gardening for Wellbeing

Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group (HHEAG) supports adults in reducing mental and emotional stress through gardening activities and services such as counselling.

Funding provides the development of the Healing Garden.

Located in one of Bristol’s most deprived areas, HHEAG has created a soothing retreat for local residents, providing them with opportunities and support to live healthy, fulfilled lives connected to and caring for the environment.

The organisation supports adults to reduce mental and emotional stress through counselling, acupuncture and psychotherapy. It operates a food cooperative that sells local, healthy and fair-priced food and it runs a walking group that meets regularly to enjoy a range of interesting and stimulating walks in the local countryside and towns.

HHEAG’s site in South Bristol includes a community garden, where it grows its owns vegetables, runs activities and seasonal events and provides residents with a quiet patch of nature where they can rest, reflect and unwind. There’s also a kitchen where it teaches healthy eating, nutrition and cooking skills to small groups and runs programmes such as cooking for long-term health conditions, weight management and food and mood.

      The Healing Garden provides a sanctuary to relax, unwind and enjoy nature

The group is now working on its Healing Garden. Built by local volunteers, The Healing Garden is a beautiful roundhouse surrounded by an orchard and allotments, that overlooks the whole of Bristol. During the Winter, the building is warm and cosy with a log-burner and solar lighting and in Spring and Summer, it provides a gorgeous green oasis where locals can enjoy the great outdoors.

Local residents are developing the site so that it can become a venue for activities that support personal and community wellbeing. With this in mind, a key area around the building has been set aside to become a ‘Healing Garden’ where people can not only enjoy the environment, but also learn new skills, arts and crafts.

Under the tutelage of an experienced community gardener, volunteers have already begun designing the garden from scratch and have planted a range of herbs and medicinal plants. They’ve also got their sights set on building seating and an outdoor pizza oven! The garden is truly a quiet sanctuary for people to recuperate and re-energise, relax, reflect and unwind.