A major new mental health and horticulture project to help people in West Cumbria is to open in the heart of Egremont.

Cumbrian mental health charity and organic farming enterprise, Growing Well, will expand to a third site thanks to funding support from Copeland Community Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund and the NDA, announced today.

Growing Well will transform the redundant Beck Green Nurseries in the centre of Egremont, to become a thriving market garden that will supply fresh vegetables direct to the local community. The funding package from the three major funders, totalling over £600K, will also support the running costs of the charity’s therapeutic horticulture service over the next three years.

Growing Well in Egremont aims to help 100 people a year across West Cumbria recover from mental health difficulties by attending the service on one day a week for up to a year.

Growing Well chief executive Mary Smith said: “We are thrilled to bring our unique model to a third site in Cumbria, which will open up our service to an entirely new community in need.

Whitehaven News: The centre from above The centre from above (Image: Supplied)

“We are particularly delighted that we can tackle mental ill health through our intervention, and we’ll also be able to offer nutritious fruit and vegetables to those families in the area who might not otherwise be able to afford them. Deprivation is one of the key contributors to mental ill health."

Under the supervision of experienced therapeutic growers and mental health support staff, beneficiaries, who can be referred by GPs, other health services, or themselves, can rebuild confidence, learn new skills, benefit from peer support and be helped to achieve their goals, such as returning to employment or education.

Whitehaven News: The Growing Well team The Growing Well team (Image: Supplied)

Emma Moynihan, fund manager for the Copeland Community Fund, added: “Copeland Community Fund are delighted to support Growing Well with their new project to deliver mental health support to our local community though a horticultural growing scheme.

"Improving the health and wellbeing of the community is a priority of Copeland Community Fund and our cooperation partners. The grant of £275,000 is to establish the site in Egremont and to deliver the programme over the next three years.”