Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk given tour of Swaffham allotment project

The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson visits Family Action's ESCAPE allotment and Orchard's

The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson visits Family Action's ESCAPE allotment and Orchard's Project in Swaffham. He meets service users, volunteers and staff. Pictured with William Taylor (left) and Chief Exec of Family Action David Holmes CBE. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

The Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk has been given a tour of an innovative project which helps promote good mental health through gardening.

Family Action's ESCAPE Allotment and Orchards Project, based at the Tumbler Hill allotments in Swaffham, aims to support members of the community.

William Taylor, 25, is a volunteer teaching assistant. He said he first became involved in the project when he struggled with change after moving house.

Mr Taylor, who has asperger syndrome, said: 'I was fairly ill, mentally. I came up to the allotment and I felt a sense of ease as soon as I came up to Tumbler Hill. There is something quite easy about this place and I have been here ever since.

'Even when you are doing a demanding day's work it's a pleasant day's work. It helps me socialise, for many people who suffer with mental health issues it can be difficult to socialise and communicate so this place offers and non-judgemental area.'

Lord Lieutenant Richard Jewson said: 'Gardening is in my book an absolute good. Gardening is a wonderfully redemptive thing to do, you have to cope with triumph and disaster. You have to have an understanding of the rhythms of life to be a gardener.

'Not all mental health issues can be dealt with in classrooms I think people leave here everyday feeling more valued than when they arrived.'

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If you can help fund the ESCAPE project call Clare Peak on 07944609655 or Katy Fullilove on 07884311604. Have you got a story? Email sophie.biddle@archant.co.uk

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