A charity which uses gardening to support women’s mental health and wellbeing has been given a major donation by local housebuilder Denbury Homes (formerly Hopkins & Moore).
Following the success of Women Like Me’s projects in Lowestoft, Kessingland and Beccles, the charity will now launch a similar project in Southwold, helping bring people together on a new allotment site on the edge of the town.
Having agreed a lease with the trustees of the Southwold Millennium Foundation on an area of land designated for community benefit, the charity has grand plans to establish a new community growing corner. The donation through Denbury Homes’ charitable fund will be used to purchase a new shed, polytunnel, gardening equipment and other materials.
Speaking of the donation, Claire Taylor-Haigh, Project Coordinator of Women Like Me said: “We are overjoyed that, thanks to Denbury Homes, we can launch a new service in Southwold. During the pandemic there was a resurgence in interest in gardening. There was also, of course, a huge impact on mental health. Our service hopes to support the mental and physical wellbeing of women in the local area by bringing them together to work on garden projects, gain confidence and build friendships.”
The charity also runs several programmes including the popular Garden Angels service which sees groups of members lend a hand in private gardens that have got a little out of control.
The site in Southwold will also boast a men’s shed which will be linked to a national organisation that creates community spaces for men to connect, converse and create in. This will be run by the trustees of the Southwold Millennium Foundation.
James Hopkins, founder of the Denbury Charitable Fund, said: “We were introduced to Women Like Me by the Suffolk Community Foundation and had a great visit to meet Claire and see the site of the future community growing corner. Women Like Me provides a very valuable service to our community and I look forward to watching the project – quite literally – begin to grow.”
The donation is one of several significant projects recently supported by the Denbury Charitable Fund. Since 2017 the fund has given out grants and donations of over £1 million in Suffolk alone, through a combination of small grants, campaigns, and donations to support major projects in the region.
James continues: “As a local developer we really understand the beauty and the importance of the communities our homes are a part of. We are very proud that through our charitable fund we can offer funding to charities and groups who work with some of the most vulnerable people in our region.” To find out more about Women Like Me visit www.women-like-me.co.uk