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Community effort set to bloom at Chelsea Flower Show




A Swaffham community allotment and orchard project working to boost mental health is preparing a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Family Action’s ESCAPE Allotment and Orchard Community Project at Tumbler Hill in Swaffham. Family Action's ESCAPE project means volunteers in and around the Swaffham area with mental health issues can learn gardening and horticultural skills. This year, they are involved with creating a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. From left to right at the front are Katy Fullilove (ESCAPE project leader), Alistair Bayford (Garden designer from idverde), Karen Beck (ESCAPE project leader), with volunteers involved in the project behind them
Family Action’s ESCAPE Allotment and Orchard Community Project at Tumbler Hill in Swaffham. Family Action's ESCAPE project means volunteers in and around the Swaffham area with mental health issues can learn gardening and horticultural skills. This year, they are involved with creating a garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. From left to right at the front are Katy Fullilove (ESCAPE project leader), Alistair Bayford (Garden designer from idverde), Karen Beck (ESCAPE project leader), with volunteers involved in the project behind them
Sarah Smith working on the project. She said she loves coming to the ESCAPE project for the friendships and to avoid sitting on her own thinking negative thoughts. Sarah said she has anxiety and depression but the Family Action ESCAPE project has been her "purpose and focus".
Sarah Smith working on the project. She said she loves coming to the ESCAPE project for the friendships and to avoid sitting on her own thinking negative thoughts. Sarah said she has anxiety and depression but the Family Action ESCAPE project has been her "purpose and focus".
Between 60 to 80 people participate each week with Family Action’s ESCAPE project with 40 tickets secured for the group to attend the Wednesday of this year's Chelsea Flower Show to see their garden
Between 60 to 80 people participate each week with Family Action’s ESCAPE project with 40 tickets secured for the group to attend the Wednesday of this year's Chelsea Flower Show to see their garden
Volunteer Deborah Root and project lead Katy Fullilove with some of the plants for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Katy said there is a "buzz in the air" ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show, while Deborah told me it is a "wonderful project to be a part of".
Volunteer Deborah Root and project lead Katy Fullilove with some of the plants for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Katy said there is a "buzz in the air" ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show, while Deborah told me it is a "wonderful project to be a part of".
A path running through the group’s Chelsea Flower Show garden will take people past boulders of varying shapes and sizes, representing the pressures families face. Here, volunteers paint some pebbles for the garden, which also represent daily struggles such as grief and depression
A path running through the group’s Chelsea Flower Show garden will take people past boulders of varying shapes and sizes, representing the pressures families face. Here, volunteers paint some pebbles for the garden, which also represent daily struggles such as grief and depression
Some of the pebbles painted by ESCAPE volunteers which will appear in the Chelsea Flower Show garden, illustrating daily struggles families face. The garden, designed by Alistair Bayford, will be known as the Family Monsters Garden, offering a place for reflection and perspective
Some of the pebbles painted by ESCAPE volunteers which will appear in the Chelsea Flower Show garden, illustrating daily struggles families face. The garden, designed by Alistair Bayford, will be known as the Family Monsters Garden, offering a place for reflection and perspective
Alistair Bayford, the designer of the garden. He said: “It’s a garden with national appeal.On face value, it just looks like a garden, but it has layers of detail that represent the problems and struggles that affect people in the UK today.” Mr Bayford, of landscaping & grounds maintenance service provider idverde, said it had been invaluable hearing the struggles ESCAPE volunteers had been through when designing the garden
Alistair Bayford, the designer of the garden. He said: “It’s a garden with national appeal.On face value, it just looks like a garden, but it has layers of detail that represent the problems and struggles that affect people in the UK today.” Mr Bayford, of landscaping & grounds maintenance service provider idverde, said it had been invaluable hearing the struggles ESCAPE volunteers had been through when designing the garden
The Family Monsters Garden will culminate in a central area with a bench large enough to bring a family together, and a clear water pool for reflection
The Family Monsters Garden will culminate in a central area with a bench large enough to bring a family together, and a clear water pool for reflection
Katy Fullilove, ESCAPE project leader, said: “It’s about people supporting each other instead of the traditional medical models with ESCAPE people coming from a diverse range of backgrounds.The belief at the core is accepting people for who they are.”
Katy Fullilove, ESCAPE project leader, said: “It’s about people supporting each other instead of the traditional medical models with ESCAPE people coming from a diverse range of backgrounds.The belief at the core is accepting people for who they are.”


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