Muddy Fork uses gardening along with other outdoor activities to support people struggling with their mental heath and wellbeing.
Our sessions are based on a few simple principles:
There's an endless list of skills that people can learn whilst working in the garden, and additional to the garden itself, we offer other activities to join in with such as willow craft, bee keeping, wood working and wildlife identification. When people acquire new skills it is a great confidence builder.
Everyone experiencing mental health difficulties are dealing with their own particular challenges. The variety of work available in and around the garden lets everyone take part in a way that suits them at the time.
Safe and supportive
We foster an atmosphere of non-judgemental support to encourage people to contribute to conversations and activities without fear of criticism.
Gardening isn't difficult but it makes us focus on the task in hand with no room for other thoughts. Visiting dragonflies and our beautiful barn owls grab our attention and before we know it we've had a whole day off from our usual mental health worries.
People that experience mental health difficulties can often end up in isolation. It's so much easier to chat to someone when you are working on something with them, the focus is on the work, and the conversation is secondary. In other social settings, interacting and communicating can be a very difficult thing to achieve.
Everyone can see that their work has useful and positive results in our garden, it is appreciated by our group and by our customers. We make use of the skills people bring and learn from them.
A view of natural greenery feels good. Spending time surrounded by it feels better. Getting your hands dirty growing some greenery of your own feels wonderful.
Gardening involves physical activity, ranging from gentle seated work to heavy digging. Exercise makes us feel good straight away and improved fitness helps keep us feeling good.