Ashridge helps Lindengate Charity with their ‘Rest & Reflect’ programme’
WHO ARE LINDENGATE AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
Lindengate is located on a stunning five-acre site in Buckinghamshire, full of abundant gardens, including a sensory garden where restful water runs, delicious fragrances scent the air and blooms revitalise the senses, alongside a developing nature reserve, where people can heal through their connection with wildlife of all species.
Here, nature breathes new life into those who are struggling with their wellbeing, so lending itself to supporting people in recovering from a wide range of mental health needs.
The natural beauty and richness of the site help to restore and heal, whilst specialised gardening, conservation, construction, cooking, and nature-based art and crafts activities provide focus and purpose.
Add to this the community of volunteers and staff who nurture a supportive, non-judgemental and safe environment that encourages people to take the road to recovery and you have recipe for success.
WHY DID LINDENGATE NEED SUPPORT?
Following Government COVID-19 pandemic advice, Lindengate closed its doors on Monday 16 March 2020.
The effect of Lockdown has been huge on this charity, initially being closed down completely to all “Gardeners” – a term used to refer to the people accessing the service. They have had to change their current focus to respond to the changing mental health needs arising from this Covid 19 pandemic.
Whilst Lindengate understood the need to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the charity, it also recognised the very great need for support to be available to NHS Key/Essential Workers and those affected by bereavement due to the virus.
The launch of Lindengate’s free Rest and Reflect drop in programme in June 2020, allowed key workers access to a calm, safe and relaxing outdoor environment. Somewhere where there were no demands, simply the ability to breathe and take time for themselves. The richness of the environment allowed the nurturing power of nature to gently help people find those all-important moments of peace, and ‘just be’.
It also offered the opportunity to be free of the often claustrophobic PPE equipment that they are now spending a high proportion of their working lives wearing.
As restrictions ease, Lindengate have opened the gardens to anyone feeling the effects of the virus – from those who’ve been shielding and are now starting to venture outside, to the bereaved and anyone struggling with isolation.
HOW DID ASHRIDGE GROUP HELP?
Many people remain nervous of being even at a safe distance from others. Despite being an outdoor, fresh air environment, many visitors to Lindengate are still keen to wear PPE.
We have been able to help reduce these fears by sourcing and delivering 100% of the visitors PPE equipment required. This also enabled Lindengate to provide every volunteer supporting the programme with a personal rucksack containing all their own PPE kit.
Alongside this very practical assistance, we’ve made a financial contribution to help with running costs at this challenging time. Our Chairman, Mark Walker, is also giving of his time as a volunteer for the charity.