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Home > News > The Garden Project

The Garden Project

The Garden Project

Cultivating self-esteem and self-sufficiency

The importance of a holistic approach towards a homeless person’s situation has always been very evident and clear to me throughout my work at Stonepillow.

Poverty and lack of affordable housing is typically the reason behind homelessness, not mental illness or alcohol and drug addiction; still the percentage of mentally ill or substance misusers is much larger than that of the general population.

Many homeless people have several interconnected issues that they need to deal with to move out of homelessness. People who are homeless need more than housing; they need to feel supported and connected with other community members; they need to contribute and give back. This helps them to move towards reestablishing their self-worth, to reclaim a place, a function for themselves in society.

Being creative and innovative to tackle complex issues connected to homelessness, is one of the values we are most proud of being able to do. Using gardening to provide physical and emotional benefit is by no means a recent discovery. People commonly use nature for relaxation, creative outlet and nourishment for body and soul.

At Stonepillow we have a challenging ambition and want to create a ‘healing space’ with plants as its main architecture, offering our Chichester Hostel clients the chance to experience The Garden Project’s healing effect. This project will help to raise clients’ motivation by practically showing that even at their most vulnerable state people can achieve, provide and care - even make things grow! We believe that the activities within this creation will enable our clients to feel many of the healing properties and health benefits necessary to recover from homelessness.

Creating positive experiences through building and nurturing our garden will open a deep connection and insight with a much needed sense of well-being.

Sylvie Johnston, Stonepillow CEO
June 2016

Thanks to Crown Properties sponsorship and volunteers, and to Annie Guilfoyle of Creative Landscapes, without whom The Garden Project would not be possible.