Project to transform hostel garden in Chichester

Volunteers from Creative Landscapes
Volunteers from Creative Landscapes

The grounds of Stonepillow Chichester Hostel and Lodge have been undergoing a transformation.

Landscape designer Annie Guilfoyle has created a whole new look and thanks to sponsorship from Crown Properties in Bognor Regis, the charity has been able to put The Garden Project into effect.

Crown Properties volunteers

Crown Properties volunteers

Geoffrey Willis, Stonepillow chief executive, said: “Creating positive experiences through building and nurturing our garden will open a deep connection and insight with a much-needed sense of well-being.

“Being creative and innovative to tackle complex issues connected to homelessness is one of the values we are most proud of being able to do.”

Using gardening to provide physical and emotional benefit is by no means a recent discovery, the charity pointed out, and people use nature for relaxation, creative outlet and nourishment for body and soul.

Many homeless people have several interconnected issues that they need to deal with to move out of homelessness and their need is more than housing, the charity explains. They need to feel supported and connected with other community members, they need to contribute and give back. This helps them to move towards reestablishing their self-worth, to reclaim a place and a function in society.

Garden volunteer David Wride, from Regis Removals, said: “What a great idea. We’re injecting life and activity into a dormant area that is now full of meaning. It’s lovely to see plans realised and begin the transformation.”

Some of Stonepillow’s clients have already been involved with garden maintenance and the opportunities to nurture and grow will increase as landscaping progresses.

It is hoped the garden project will help to raise clients’ motivation by practically showing that even at their most vulnerable state, people can achieve, provide, care and make things grow.

It is hoped the activities within this project will enable clients to feel many of the healing properties and health benefits necessary to recover from homelessness.

Email admin@stonepillow.org.uk to find out how to get involved with The Garden Project.

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