Archive for October, 2014

Sessional Advocate Required

Friday, October 31st, 2014

We have a vacancy for a Sessional Advocate, please see advertisement below.

Sessional Advocate

Garden Needs wins Big Lottery Grant

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Our Community Wellbeing Garden Centre in Higher Broughton has won additional funding over the next 3 years from the Big Lottery “Reaching Communities” Fund.

The grant will help fund the work Garden Needs does helping mental health recovery for people throughout the area. Coupled with the substantial Mental Health and Horticulture contract funded by Salford City Council earlier in the year, health professionals, third sector organisations and the people themselves can refer to the service.

Garden Needs is a place to come and make friends, commune with nature and learn some new skills. We have drop-ins and volunteering opportunities for people with experience of mental or emotional distress.

Participants in the scheme can learn horticulture, first aid and cookery, with participants encouraged to engage with mindfulness based stress reduction techniques. All these interventions help increase confidence, skills, self-esteem and improve health.

Councillor Peter Connor, Assistant Mayor – Adult Services and Services for Older People at Salford City Council said,

” I was delighted to hear the great news about Garden Needs’ successful bid to the Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund.

This will provide additional support to enable some of the most vulnerable people in our City to take those necessary and vital steps towards recovery, and builds on the Recovery and Horticulture service that Salford City Council commissions you to deliver.

Services like yours, and the commitment you show in developing new intiatives, help us to meet our vision that all residents of Salford will have access to high quality mental health services which support their recovery. “

Markus Greenwood, CEO of Mind in Salford and Director of Garden Needs has added

“ This is wonderful news and an endorsement of all the hard work put in by our staff and volunteers, and the belief in green therapies that we’ve promoted over the years. It’s fantastic for Salford to have such an innovative mental health project. “

Scott Darraugh the CEO of Social adVentures and chair of the board of directors said

“ This is a fantastic achievement and will allow Garden Needs to develop ground breaking mental health interventions using the joys of growing to inspire people , encourage progression to work and to improve their mental wellbeing. “

Garden Needs Development & Operations Manager, Simon Colderley has also added

“ The grant from Big Lottery now gives Garden Needs the time we need to develop the garden centre into a self-sustaining community interest company. Alongside real targets in supporting people’s mental health, the money allows us to develop a robust business plan to continue our high quality services over the three years of funding from Big Lottery ”

Blog – Mindful Photography – Kan

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

IMG_0966The good news is – taking photographs mindfully means that there’s no such thing as a bad shot or subject matter.

If we look at our surroundings, seeing objects without forming any particular attachment to them and de-focus our gaze a little, then sometimes we can find beauty where we least expect it.

I took this photo one evening around dusk when I was walking along the seafront in Brighton.  Squinting and de-focussing my eyes a little, I noticed the blur of the car headlights and the way they contrasted with the dark blue sea behind.

When I was learning Tai Chi, I remember the instructor talking about a Japanese martial arts technique called ‘Kan’.  He explained that when facing an opponent in martial arts, it helps to adopt an unfocussed gaze when looking towards them – as if we were looking towards the sea in the distance.

Eli Landa from writes:

“When you zero-in, and focus intently on something, you narrow your perspective and your field of vision.  The mind stops and dwells on the object of concentration. This is when thinking begins….. look at your opponent as if gazing at a mountain far away in the distance… This allows for a much broader field of vision to prevail. It prevents the mind from becoming fixated and allows the full capacities of intuition and insight to come into play.”

So the next time I take my camera out, if I can keep my eyes and mind softly open – then hopefully I can let the big picture unfold.