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Participant recovering from psychosis:

‘My feelings on the gardening expereince are those of joy.  The gardening makes me feel happy because it takes my mind off other things.  The gardening has given me more of a life than I had before.  I had nothing and now I am meeting new people and gaining confidence.’

‘I was scared.   Scared of what other people would think of me.  I was no good around people due to past event.  I was also thinking about death a lot.  When I look back to how I was and see how I am doing now, I see there are a lot of changes.  I feel more comfortable around people and I also have a lot more confidence in myself.  The allotment isn’t just a place where you go and do some gardening, it’s a safe and friendly place where yo can meet new people and make friends.’

Participant who is an asylum seeker:

‘I was going through a stressful time and my mind had just been engaged with fears and uncertainty of my future and my children’s life in a foreign country.  It felt like I had drowned in a big ocean.  I was doing my best not to show how depressed I was in front of other people.  Despite all concerns which I have mentioned, I decided to become involved in this project.  By doing gardening, I could be free from the problems’ pressures for a few hours.   It was magnificent to see how people with different backgrounds could understand each other.  I have gained skills in gardeninga nd communicaion.  This project gives a bigger responsibility, to be committed to making a difference in my life, to be determined to achieve my goals and to complete what I have started.’

A parent of a young person with mental health problems:

‘My son enjoys going to the allotment so much. I think that without it his life would have little meaning.  He would love to go every day if he could.  It has a very therapeutic effect on him – he is so much calmer after he has been.’

Karen Wheeler, Deputy Team Leader, Central Norfolk Early Intervention Service

‘The Early Intervention Service continues to support Strong Roots which is an innovative and creative gardening project.  Many young people have benefitted from this safe, reflective and inclusive environment.  It is evident that as the garden flourishes and grows, so do the individuals that attend, increasing confidence, and a sense of achievement.’