Green Minds – Brecon Mind

Sustainable Development Fund Grant £5,000

Brecon and District Mind supports people in the rural communities of South Powys who are affected by mental illness and distress.

The Green Minds project launched in early 2020 with successful eco therapy sessions for 12 participants, who made bird boxes and undertook planting and growing activities.  The Sustainable Development Fund grant  contributed to staff costs to further develop the initiative – focusing on the creation of a bee and wildlife garden at Brecon Cathedral and a wildlife garden at Bronllys hospital.

After the March 2020 lockdown staff constantly adapted delivery approaches to ensure the safety of participants. Online resources were developed for both existing participants and the wider community. When possible between lockdowns, therapeutic gardening and woodland walking sessions continued at a time when people needed them the most.

The wellbeing garden behind the Cathedral offices includes beds and borders for pollinator loving perennials mixed in with interesting edibles and healing herbs. It’s hoped that the garden will inspire a sense of calm and recovery as well as providing a space for learning and growing. Group members have been directly involved in planting and building pathways around the garden from recycled stone.

People very much valued taking part:

“Before lockdown I was working as a volunteer for an Alzheimer’s group, when that was cut I lost a big part of my social life too, so being part of a group again is a big help.”

“I don’t know that many people in the area and lockdown has made me feel really isolated so knowing this group is happening is really good.”

“I really enjoy taking part in the Green Minds sessions, it really helps with my anxiety levels and it gets me out of the house too keeping busy” “It makes me feel better looking after and getting my hands in the soil”