Healthy interest in Penrose charity gardening day

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A community clean up day was held to reduce social isolation and provide support for mental health service users.

The theme for the event was ‘health and wellbeing’ and was designed to help participants, the charity’s service users, who seek support for mental health conditions.

The gardening activities took place on a plot of land opposite Fountains Avenue, in Bide-a-While parkland.

Matthew Hickey, Penrose group director, said: “We were developing an allotment and working on around two acres of land.

“The day provided a really positive opportunity and you could see the people working there were so passionate about what they were doing.”

Penrose ROOTS and LINKS service users were invited along, ROOTS having been set up by Penrose to provide year round horticultural and wellbeing opportunities.

Meanwhile, LINKS is a weekly group run by the charity to tackle isolation.

A Penrose service user said: “I am so happy to have been part of this clean-up day project and the work that has been done is amazing. It has given us a head start - our vision can now be a reality.”

To help the clean up day, Costa Coffee provided 24 volunteers, as well as tools, coffee, tea, water, Costa cakes, shrubs, bedding and pond plants.

Penrose are hoping more Luton residents will become involved with their ROOTS project, which runs all year round, and would like to thank the Costa Coffee volunteers for their help.

Costa Coffee charity community manager, Sandy Gourlay, explained: “In every part of our business we encourage employees to play an active part in the communities they live and work in. We support them to give their time to help with what is most needed. The Penrose Roots to Recovery project is a very worthwhile initiative to support and we really enjoyed working together on this space.”

To contact Penrose, Luton, call 01582 343 230 or visit http://www.penrose.org.uk/services-projects/luton/.