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Keeping kids on the sunny side at Groves

There has been an alarming increase in mental health issues among the young.  UK charity Action for Children surveyed 5,555 people aged between 13 and 15 from across the country and 1,840 – 1 in 3 – were found to have a mental health issue such as depression or inability to focus. And an Education Policy Institute investigation found that referrals to children’s mental health services in England had increased by 26% over the past five years.

Gardening is now seen as an ideal way to mitigate the increase in mental health issues among schoolchildren. The benefits to mental wellbeing are now widely known. This year at the Chelsea Garden Show the Duchess of Cambridge’s Back to Nature garden highlighted how time spent in natural environments can build the foundations for positive mental wellbeing that lasts through childhood and over a lifetime.

Groves Nurseries are running a number of projects this year with local schools to encourage children to take up gardening. Before the Summer, Groves Nurseries sent schools free Sunflower seeds and pumpkins to grow. This October Groves will be part of the “little daffodils” campaign launch to get children planting bulbs. Daffodil bulbs are being delivered to local primary schools this week including St Mary’s Primary and Mountjoy School in Beaminster.

On a visit to St Marys Primary this week the children ran around the poly tunnel proudly pointing out the vegetables that are still growing. Mrs. Eames who runs the gardening club stands amongst the sunflowers they planted in the Summer beaming.

“The kids love coming to the Eco Club and our garden area is a dream come true. We use the vegetables in our afterschool cooking club and donated some cucumbers from our garden to the homeless shelter next door. We are so grateful for the support we receive from Groves” she said.

 Jenny at Mountjoy School also runs a garden club with the pupils. The pumpkins are still growing and will be ready for carving (and eating!) come Halloween. During Half Term Groves will be displaying the local school’s pumpkins around their pond in a Schools Pumpkin Showcase.

Getting kids into gardening this October might make life a bit brighter for young people so if your school is interested in participating please get in contact with Groves at

Groves are sponsoring this year’s Bridport Mind Fest which runs from Friday 11 – Sunday 13 October, 2019.

Angie Porter Posted by Angie Porter

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