Abbey Physic Community Garden is an inclusive accessible community resource in the heart of Faversham that has supported people with mental and physical health issues and complex social challenges for 25 years. Our mission is ‘Growing a Healthy Community’. Established as a charity in 2007 the garden offers a safe, inclusive environment helping people improve mental health and wellbeing, strengthen confidence, resilience and self-esteem, develop life skills and coping strategies and become active members of their community. With over 200 members, each week around 55 individuals take part in therapeutic gardening and our other activities. We are a truly member led organisation. Members decide the projects and activities, they appoint trustees and are involved in staff selection. They provide peer support and some take positions of responsibility as key holders, garden openers and buddies.
Many members arrive at the Garden seeing no alternative to their current needs and circumstances and the limited support from statutory services. For them the Garden is a lifeline where they can break the cycle of isolation and loneliness and start to rediscover life again. We have a Green Flag Community Award and numerous environmental and community awards and won Silver and Silver Gilt medals at Hampton Court for gardens designed and installed by members.
We offer diverse activities to support for members’ needs and interests throughout the year that include:
• Day to day maintenance of the garden offering the therapeutic benefits of horticulture. Those who wish to can undertake formal training for a City and Guilds level 1 certificate in practical horticulture.
• Healthy eating and cooking classes in our Community Kitchen using produce from the garden, with an emphasis on budgeting, food for mood and special diets and making meals to share with members
• Ground Force Action Team –an outreach project giving members the opportunity to gain work experience by donating their time to help recover neglected community spaces.
• Craft based activities including willow work, wood turning, arts, card making, pottery and preserves. We aim to have a variety of activities for members to try.
• Men’s Shed – making, mending, creating, working alongside each other
• Monthly Happiness Café
• Peer support –structured sessions and informally
• Mental health support programmes (in conjunction with Mind) e.g. coping with anxiety and depression, building confidence and bereavement
• Skills Training e.g. First Aid, Food & Hygiene, Risk Assessment.
Facilities: Cafe, Volunteering, Picnic area, Wildlife area
Open to the public?Yes
Open to the public - details: During opening times
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9am - 1pm, Saturday Noon - 3pm. Also open Saturdays 1pm - 5pm for "Open Day" "Secret Gardens"
Rail:10 minute walk Faversham Rail Station
Bus: 5 minute walk bus stop (Canterbury, Ashford Mainstone, Sittingbourn)
APCG is down a pedestrianised alley running from Church Street to Abbey Place past St Mary's church.(Exit 6 off M2, 5 minute drive to Church Street).
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