About Us

Strong Roots is an exciting innovative therapeutic garden project in Norwich. It is based on four adjoining allotments which are being developed into a shared garden.  People who benefit from it include those  who experience social isolation. No gardening experience is required.



Who are we?

Following a pilot scheme that worked with young people recovering from mental illness, and asylum seekers, the project is now developing and extending its activities to other groups.   Our plot is on the Bluebell Allotment site, off The Avenues, in Norwich.

Lucy Scurfield, the Strong Roots co-ordinator,  has a BSc [Hons] in integrative therapy and counselling and is registred with the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy [Psychotherapeutic Counselling College].  She is also accredited through the Independent Practioners’ Network process [www.i-p-n.org].  She has a great deal of experience of the therapeutic use of horticulture with vulnerable groups, including ex-offenders, adults with learning difficulties, those experiencing mental illness and asylum eekers and refugees.  For more information and to arrange a visit please contact us.

What we do…

Within a safe and supportive environment Strong Roots offers  group and/or individual sessions according to need.  Gardening is the focus.  Personal development of participants is encouraged  through: making connections with nature, themselves and others, building confidence, learning through experience, contributing to decisions that determine how the plot and project evolves, including making ‘mistakes’, promoting good physical and mental health, reducing social isolation, enhancing social interaction, breaking down prejudices and fears and tackling stigma.

Individuals  choose the nature and level of activity and are encouraged to contribute to the evolution of the garden and the project.

Listen here to Future Radio’s Mike Stevens finding out more about the project. He speaks to Lucy Scurfield the project co-ordinator, Jane who attends Strong Roots, and a support worker from Baseline [Future Projects, Norwich]. To listen click here:


See also   Article published in ‘Self & Society’ Vol 41 No 1 Autumn 2013  an International Journal for Humanistic Psychology.


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We offer group and/or individual sessions according to need.  Please do get in touch to find out more.


For three years from January 2008 Strong Roots was part funded by the Big Lottery [Well Being in the East Fund]. This funding enabled 114 participants to benefit from the project for a total of 2,254 hours, and provided experience for 21 volunteers.

We are enormously grateful to the AB Charitable Trust for awarding us a grant of £5,000. This has been of great help in contributing towards the running costs for one day per week for a year until July 2013, and the installation of water butts and guttering.

We are also extremely grateful to the trustees of the  Mrs H.R. Greene Charitable Settlement for their generous donation of £1,000.

We are very pleased to announce that Strong Roots has been awarded funding by Wellbeing in the East for 21 months from July 2013.

We are confident that ongoing monitoring and evaluation will continue to demonstrate the value of this project and therefore attract longer term investment.

Rachel Jennings, Project Manager, The Wellbeing in the East says:/

 ‘Overall you have made excellent progress against your year 1 targets and have overachieved on all areas so a big congratulations goes to you and your team of volunteers!

 It’s good to read about the relationships you have formed with other agencies which enables you to receive referrals from a variety of routes and as ever it’s a pleasure to read through the personal feedback you have received from your beneficiaries.

 Once again congratulations on your achievements in year 1.

Strong Roots_Annual Report 2015-2016

Strong Roots Annual Report 2014-2015

Strong Roots Annual Report 2013-2014

Strong Roots Annual Report 2012-2013

Strong Roots _Annual_Report_2011-2012

strong-roots-annual report-2010-2011.pdf

If you would like to find out more or make a donation please email us at