Lorrisa Roberts, ABF's Chief Officer mowing the allotment plot at Erddig Road.

Local mental health charity mow-tivated to help people back into the community

Image – Lorrisa Roberts, ABF Chief Officer, mowing the grass at the allotment plot

Local mental health and wellbeing charity Advance Brighter Futures (ABF) is delighted to be reopening some of its face-to-face services as this will play an important part in helping people find their way back into the community.

ABF has been supporting people in the Wrexham area for over 25 years and since the Covid-19 pandemic has had to adjust to offering online support, with all its face-to-face services stopping in March.

Allotment group has now restarted!

ABF is slowly reintroducing its people facing services, and restarting the allotment group, called A Place To Grow, in mid-August was the first part of this.

A Place To Grow is made up of people who get referred to ABF by the Community Mental Health Team. They meet weekly on Wednesday’s (10am-12pm) at Erddig Allotment (Hollow/Thomas Fields) on Erddig Road, and having this valuable social contact has greatly helped the wellbeing of those who’ve attended the group.

Lorrisa Roberts, ABF Chief Officer, said: “Whilst our online support services have been received incredibly well, there was a proportion of people who told us that they had badly missed the face-to-face support we offer.

“Whether it’s a need to get away from the confines of their homes, or a lack of confidence using technology, reopening the building and resuming our services is vital for these people.”

“Like a jungle”

Resuming the allotment group was no easy task…when staff first attended the allotment to see what state it was in, the phrase “like a jungle” was used more than once.

Gareth Bilton, Engagement Officer, said: “We had to clear the pathways before restarting, which were a hazard and would have prevented us from resuming our allotment group.

“There’s still a lot more clearing to be done, and that’s going to be our focus for the time being, but it’s entirely up to the people in the allotment group how they want to use the session.

“Some prefer to come along to sit and relax in our open seating area, whilst still being involved in our community. There’s plenty of research which shows how being around nature benefits mental health and wellbeing.

“The community aspect is really the most important part in all of this. We have a great community of staff, volunteers and local people who make the group work so well.”

Walking group next

ABF’s walking group has also now resumed, starting from Thursday 3rd September (11am-1pm), although it will eventually move back to taking place on Mondays. The circular walk through Erddig begins and ends at the ABF building on Belmont Rd.

Volunteers needed

If you would be interested in volunteering to help with the allotment or walking groups, please call ABF on 01978 364777 or email info@abfwxm.co.uk for an informal chat.

If you think you would benefit from any of our groups you can ask to be referred to Advance Brighter Futures by the Community Mental Health Team.

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