Westhoughton: Community Garden Supports Mental Health

An open day to celebrate a new community garden – the first of its kind in Daisy Hill, Westhoughton – was held on Tuesday, 10 October at Daisy Hill Cricket Club to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

The garden, which has received funding from Bolton GP Federation and organised by the cricket club in partnership with the Westhoughton Primary Care Network (PCN) Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLW), showcased all the fantastic work the volunteers have done and promoted the mental health benefits of gardening, being outdoors and socialising, to over 60 people.

The social prescribers joined forces with the cricket club in April 2023 to create a safe, peaceful place for the community. The funding has helped towards two large, sturdy benches (picture attached) and a summer house that was put together by a team of local volunteers.

One of the volunteers, Martin, said: “I was more than happy with the turnout and interest. I’m not ashamed to say that this project has been a lifeline for me and has helped my mental state immensely and it’s all thanks to the help from the Westhoughton social prescribers”.

The day attracted people from across the Westhoughton community, including local GP and Chair of Bolton GP Federation, Dr Kamran Khan, Christine Makinson from the Mental Health Independent Support Team, and Westhoughton Mayor Deirdre McGeown, who said: “I had a great time and was amazed at all that’s been achieved, it’s a little haven; honestly a beautiful place.”

Westhoughton Social Prescribing Link Worker, Julie Wright said: “To see the whole community join and enjoy the blossoming garden has been truly amazing, new friendships have been formed, and we have recruited new volunteers. It has been an uplifting and positive experience to hear the lovely comments from the residents and other services. I can’t thank the Cricket Club and all the Volunteers enough.

“In Westhoughton, we are so lucky to have lots of services working together for the benefit of all, I have worked with some inspiring people on the garden project, it really is a joy to come to work.”

Following the initial success of the garden, a new ‘Chatty Benches’ project will be starting there on Friday, 13 October, and will run every Friday between 11am and 12pm. Social prescribers will be at the garden for anyone who would like to come down, have a brew, meet new friends or get information about support.

If you would like more information about the Community Garden, please contact Julie Wright on 07546 305455 or email Julie.wright10@nhs.net.

Poster of Friday’s weekly event