Project information

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Bursaries

Support our most disadvantaged service users (Gardeners) so they may benefit from Lindengate’s Social & Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) services. Many people experiencing mental health needs can't afford to pay more than a nominal cost towards their sessions at what is often a challenging time.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: Lindengate

Lindengate logo
  • Need


    1 in 4 people will suffer with mental ill health in any year (source: MIND). Demand for community based mental health services is high and increasing. Lindengate's Gardeners present with a wide range of mental health needs including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), memory loss & dementia, head injury, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders. Around 25% need financial support to access a programme of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, and 50% of these are over 55


    Social care facilities, like Lindengate, are needed to relieve strain on mainstream healthcare. Increasingly GPs engage with social prescribing and signpost clients towards services like Lindengate, but only those with the most severe needs attract funding to receive treatment. By providing bursaries for those who cannot afford treatment, this project will ensure that people with mental health and financial needs access life-changing therapy when they need it.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide Social and Therapeutic Horticulture for people with mental health and financial needs


    » Gardening - eg potting, planting and developing displays with creative input
    » Arts and crafts - painting, sculpting or mosaic work
    » Construction - The community donates materials for sessions, eg we recycle pallets for construction activities to make benches and raised flower beds
    » Education - we offer training courses in kitchen gardening and other courses to promote life skills

    What success will look like

    We will demonstrate this aim by supporting 20 Gardeners to access 3-hour weekly STH sessions over the year of the project

  • Impact


    We monitor and evaluate our Gardeners' mental health using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS). Gardeners typically increase their wellbeing after attending STH sessions at Lindengate. Our data shows that as Gardeners attend Lindengate their confidence, self-esteem and social ability improve, often in very small steps. All of this, along with the resulting improved sense of wellbeing, enables Gardeners to re-engage with society, using Lindengate as a support mechanism.


    Lindengate's model depends on the support of volunteers. 170 volunteers are registered with Lindengate and 100 of these volunteer regularly. As the number of Gardeners wishing to access STH increases, we must recruit and train additional volunteers to meet demand. An experienced volunteer co-ordinator is in place to support and train new volunteers. Lindengate's high profile in the local community, minimises the risk of there being insufficient volunteers.


    Regular newsletters are produced for donors and volunteers. Lindengate also has a strong presence on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £11,200 Bursaries Sixteen six-month bursaries for a half-day session per week
      £4,200 Bursaries Three six-month bursaries for a full-day session per week
      £2,700 Bursaries 1 x one-year bursary for a full-day session per week
      £1,900 Management costs Costs of administering the scheme and organising volunteers to support gardeners
  • Background


    Lindengate is in Aylesbury Vale in the Thames Valley, within a 30m radius of towns with pockets living in the highest indices of multiple deprivation (Aylesbury 5.5m; High Wycombe 12m; Luton 19m; Oxford 30m). Common mental health problems like depression and anxiety, are higher than the national average at 15% in the region (Bucks Adult Mental Health Commissioning Strategy 2015-18). Lindengate offers a unique facility, which attracts service users from a wide catchment.


    Lindengate's Gardeners present with a wide range of mental health needs including anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), memory loss & dementia, head injury, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders. The majority of working age Gardeners who attend Lindengate are unable to engage successfully and consistently within the labour market and are prone to falling adrift from their communities, which can easily lead to social isolation and a spiralling negative impact.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Lindengate's founders, Charlie Powell and Sian Chattle both have an excellent understanding of mental health issues, fuelled by their own experience. Charlie has personal experience of depression and Sian has family members with autism; these experiences together with their professional backgrounds in gardening, education and green and 'eco-initiatives' drive the passion behind Lindengate. A strong team of staff and board of trustees completes the picture.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sian Chattle

    Co-Founder and Service User Manager

    Charlie Powell

    Co-Founder and Horticultural and Site Manager

    Michael Harris


    Phil Chattle

    Chair of Trustees. A Director of two UK-subsidiaries of Veolia Environment, one of the world's largest environmental companies


Pays for one half-day session of STH for a Gardener in need

'We have seen the programme of STH make a significant difference to people with mental health needs, including those in the early stages of dementia, which also has a significant beneficial impact on their carers.'

Prevention Matters, Feb 2017