In July 2023, Emma Lacy, a gardener, and I launched a weekly woodwork and gardening session for those experiencing homelessness. Participants learn woodwork and gardening knowledge as well as meeting new people in a safe space. We are based in the garden of the Cambridge Access Surgery on Newmarket Road, Cambridge. It a social prescribing project for those registered at the Access Surgery and they are referred by practitioners in the surgery. The garden is currently used by practitioners to offer safe and confidential consultations to their patients. We will slowly landscape the garden and have started building a covered area under which we have installed a woodwork bench. We plan to partner with Anglia Ruskin University to assess our impact through a process of evaluation.
Making and working within green spaces has been shown to enhance wellbeing and mental health through a holistic horticultural and woodworking therapy programme.
A further aim is to signpost participants onto further opportunities to help facilitate reconnection to their communities.