£20,000 for garden to fight loneliness

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Visitors enjoying their time gardening in Haggerston
Visitors enjoying their time gardening in Haggerston (Credits: Siobhan MacMahon)

The Big Lottery Fund has granted £20,000 to fight loneliness through a garden meetup project. The social, for over 50s with learning disabilities, was launched on 22 October and will run for two years in St Mary’s Secret Garden in Haggerston.

The social meets every Tuesday from 10am-2pm and visitors can explore the garden, try beekeeping, play games and visit other gardening projects.

“We know gardening improves people’s wellbeing and reduces blood pressure. Five people attended our garden social on Tuesday and we hope to reach at least fifty in the next year,” said project director Paula Yassine.

“I really like the group and enjoy working in the garden, cooking and helping other people. It’s fun, peaceful and relaxing.” said visitor Wai Ching Cheung.