Growing for peace and peas
Our refugee families from Syria are growing an allotment in Essex – and fresh veg isn’t the only perk! They’re getting lots of other wellbeing benefits too.
When people leave their country due to war, they become refugees. The United Nations invites a certain number of people to settle in the UK, where some of them receive support from our outreach team.
It can be hard to adapt to a new culture, especially after going through war. To help them settle down and restart their lives, we provide a five-year support programme. Our outreach support workers provide one-to-one assistance for families from Syria and Afghanistan, to help them adapt to life in the UK and lead fulfilled and healthy lives. This could include things like accessing English lessons and education, learning to budget or applying for volunteering opportunities.
Many of our customers have gone on to lead successful, independent lives, like one recent ‘graduate’ who works as a teacher in a local school.
Last year, we helped our refugee families set up an allotment, where they can come together to grow fruit and veg, and spend time outdoors. Jade, who manages our service for refugees, explains why it has been so popular:
“The allotment is helping them build friendships with others in the community and has had amazing health benefits. One of the children, who suffers from anxiety caused by traumatic events, had her first good night’s sleep in months after a day on the plot.”