Keystage Housing joins forces with gardening charity that works with homeless people

A charity that uses horticulture as a therapeutic tool to help homeless people partnered with Keystage Housing to launch a new gardening project.

Waste Not Want Not, based in Stevenage, joined forces with Keystage Housing to work with our service users to update a garden at one of our facilities.

The social enterprise and community interest company was established in 2008 and works with homeless people as well as ex-addicts, ex-offenders, socially excluded and people with mental health issues to share the benefits of gardening for mental health.

Its ethos is inclusivity and creating a friendly and supportive environment where participants can make new and supportive friendships.

The team from Waste Not Want Not worked with a group of Keystage Housing service users to update a garden area.

The £1,000 project, partly funded by a £499 grant from Harts Helping Homeless, saw the company create a design for the garden as well as make furniture to improve the space.

Jane Foster, Keystage Housing’s Community Engagement Manager, who facilitated the project, said: “It was a really positive project with our service users involved throughout, painting furniture and planting. They are now looking after the garden by watering it every day and looking after the plants and vegetables.”

Waste Not Want Not aims to improve people’s wellbeing through gardening.

Its patron, the singer Kim Wilde, said: “All volunteers are made very welcome and work in a safe and friendly environment in a spirit of fun, friendship, and mutual support with the potential to acquire new skills both in horticulture and in life.

“The project responds rapidly to the needs of some very exposed people who might otherwise slip through the care net.”


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