Veolia volunteers nurture nature for Mind

Volunteers from Veolia Environmental Services pulled on their gardening gloves yesterday to lend a helping hand at local project ‘Nurture by Nature’ in support of Mind and World Mental Health Day (Monday 10th October). Volunteers got stuck in clearing the project’s allotment site to lay a stone path as well as weeding and picking vegetables.

Nurture by Nature provides the opportunity for young women in Sheffield and their children to take part in a range of activities to improve physical and mental wellbeing and reduce the stigma of mental health.  The activities focus on improving independent living skills and range from gardening to creative activities, such as ‘cook and eat’ sessions.

The project is supported by the Young Women’s Housing Project and funded by Ecominds, a grant scheme run by Veolia’s charity of the year, Mind thanks to £7.5million of BIG Lottery funding.  Ecominds involves people with experience of mental distress in environmental projects that improve their mental and physical health as well as help local communities.

Katie Stanford, project coordinator for Nurture by Nature commented: “It was great meeting the Veolia team and I want to say a big thank you for their support with this project.”

Jon Snelgrove, assistant district energy engineer at Veolia took part in the volunteering session.  He said: “Everyone enjoyed the morning and I hope we made a real difference for the allotment users.  I am pleased we could be part of a project that supports our local community and also our charity of the year.”

Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales and is Veolia’s charity of the year for 2011.  Despite the fact that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems in any one year, there is still a taboo attached to mental health problems.  It is an important part of Mind’s work to challenge these taboos, to try to end discrimination and encourage everyone, whether they have personal experience or not, to start talking openly about mental health. 

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