At Church Housing Trust’s most recent board meeting, the team were able to present a special surprise to the homelessness scheme they were visiting.
The Beacon, supported housing for homeless ex-Services personnel, had recently requested funding for a greenhouse. There is a large garden at the scheme, which is well-used and popular with the residents. However, the North Yorkshire weather isn’t always conducive to getting outside, so they would make good use of a greenhouse that will let them garden all year round.
This would also allow them to grow a wider variety of plants that, for instance, need a warmer climate. They could also cultivate more vegetables and start a ‘field to fork’ endeavour, an ideal addition to their already popular cooking courses and a great way to promote healthy eating.
Church Housing Trust was able to present the scheme with a cheque to cover the cost of the greenhouse. The Trust’s new Director, Miriam Morris, along with board Chairman, Commander Bob Cribb (Retd), presented the cheque to Team Leader at The Beacon Sheryl West, and Christian, a resident who is a keen gardener, after having a tour of the scheme.The Beacon’s garden, May 2015
The health and psychological benefits of gardening are well recognised. It can have a positive impact on physical, mental and emotional well-being and is useful in helping people with special needs, or who are recovering from physical illness or injury. This applies to many of the residents at The Beacon.
Gardening provides a workout for the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and can improve strength, endurance and flexibility, helping to prevent problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
In addition, physical exercise releases endorphins, which help to alleviate stress and its negative results. Studies have shown that simply spending time in a garden can lower blood pressure. Gardening can also stimulate the appetite and foster a good night’s sleep, essential for residents suffering from stress-related issues.
It can also help with the development of social and intellectual skills, including those needed for social inclusion or rehabilitation. Finally, many homeless schemes use their gardens as an oasis of calm and peacefulness to escape to, helping restore a sense of balance and well-being.
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