Here at A Better Start Southend, we know that outdoor time is very important for mental and physical health. During the pandemic, many of us experienced feelings of isolation as well as some challenges with mental health, and spending time in nature can be difficult in urban areas such as Southend.

With all of this in mind, we are developing a new service in partnership with Trust Links – a local independent mental health and wellbeing charity – called Families Growing Together. The charity run two community gardens in Southend (West Shoebury and Westcliff-on-Sea) where they offer sessions such as therapeutic gardening. The Families Growing Together service will offer a day per week at each of these locations where families can gather together and tend to the gardens, harvest vegetables, cook with the ingredients, care for the animals and even take part in storytelling and crafting activities! All activity will be Covid-safe; the health and wellbeing of families is our top priority.

Trust Links are well-established, and are passionate about sustainable living and strengthening communities in Southend. Our new service in collaboration with this fantastic charity offers a unique and exciting opportunity for families within our wards to spend valuable time in nature, while making friends and building community.

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