A place of calm at The Greens - 09/02/2021
Finding a place of calm is important for all of us, especially considering the past twelve months and ongoing lockdown. Residents at The Greens in Sheffield, who are in recovery from drugs and alcohol, perhaps have more need than most to boost their mood, reduce feelings of stress, and find ways to feel more relaxed.
Residents in the ‘Working Together’ group at The Greens enjoy discussing making improvements to the project, which might be setting up a new group or decoration of some of the communal areas, such as the games room, gym, lounge and meeting rooms. During the recent lockdown, the group came up with their next, highly ambitious plan - to redesign the garden, providing a space for mindfulness and relaxation, and a large seating area for group and keywork sessions in the summer months.
The group considered the five senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch to develop a plan for a sensory garden to help residents tune-in to their surroundings, and provide a necessary break from the stressors of daily life.
Before long, work was underway! Residents have pulled up the turf and marled out the path, and will soon move on to laying the path and digging a pond. Residents are busily researching plants and fruit trees, and planning vegetable planters. They have secured a grant from SOAR, received a pledge of support from SYHA for a wildflower space, and received a generous discount from Wickes for materials.
But ambitious plans need support! The residents have a wishlist, including artificial grass, lots of plants, pond materials, garden furniture and any garden ornaments to make the space a relaxing place to unwind and boost wellbeing.
If you can offer support in any form, whether financial, materials or expertise, please contact Louise Morley at The Greens on email@example.com.
Resident, Ed, shared his story of his time at The Greens, and explained how this project will support him continue to make progress in recovery:
“I’ve been in and out of jail since about the age of 14, linked to drinking and doing drugs. I pretty much came straight from jail to The Greens - I was offered a place within a week and moved here in September. It was good for me to move out of my area and away from the bad influences. I needed a fresh start.
The staff here have all been brilliant. Having spent so much time in jail, I wasn’t used to talking to people in authority - you never talked to the screws in jail. But since I’ve come here, I’ve been able to talk to the staff about anything, how I’m feeling, if I’m struggling or whatever it is. I relapsed over Christmas time, as there was a lot going on with my family and stuff, and my mental health really suffered. But everyone here was great, they really went out of their way to support me so that I could stay.
And now, with this garden project that’s helped me massively. My mate Lee has got me up and out every day, helping dig out the pond, starting on the path. I’ve always loved being outside, and whenever I’ve worked, I’ve always done it outside; on quarries and farms, places like that. It gives me something positive to do and focus on and there’s always someone to talk to out there.
The pond is my main focus with the gardening project. I’d love it if we could get a pond filter with UV lights, a fountain, fish, and any plants for the pond such as dwarf lilies. If anybody could support us to get the pond looking how we’ve planned it that would be amazing. I know it’s going to be a relaxing and positive space for everybody who’s being supported here - I can’t wait to get it finished!”
Residents of The Greens regularly attend meetings run by the Sheffield Recovery Forum. You can find out more about their work, and get involved on the Sheffield Recovery Community Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldrecoverycommunity
Alison Wise for Help us Help and The Greens, February 2021