Life at No.27 – Growing for Wellbeing
12 Aug 2021 | Anne Marie Fogarty
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We are delighted at ProMedical to share something special with you, as we recently spoke with the wonderful Annabelle Padwick- Founder, Director and Wellbeing Practitioner at Life at No.27 about her passion for nature, gardening and growing for wellbeing.
Growing for Wellbeing
National Growing for Wellbeing Week takes place in June every year and is all about celebrating how wonderful connecting with nature and growing our own food can be for our well-being. The week is extremely important as it hopefully inspires many people of all ages to pop a tiny seed into some compost, have hope for the months ahead and dream big. Whilst also encouraging others to take a few moments for themselves, become grounded and grow in confidence.
“I also have to add that it helps raise awareness of not only Life at No.27 but also the many other wonderful horticultural therapy charities we have in the UK supporting those in need, ”says founder, Annabelle Padwick.
What is Life at No.27 and who is Annabelle Padwick?
Annabelle began her journey by setting up her social enterprise Life at No.27 back in 2019. As a professional gardener and wellbeing practitioner, she supports clients across Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire in schools and at bespoke therapy gardens.
Annabelle is a trainee counsellor at Banbury Counselling Academy and has achieved FHEQ level 4 Psychology and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy qualifications with Oxford University.
Having also completed a range of horticultural therapy training courses and is the proud ambassador for Thrive,- the UK National Charity which changes lives through gardening.
She is a patient adviser, champion and faculty member of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) and NHS. As if that weren’t enough, Annabelle also is a children’s author of ‘YOU CAN grow your own food’, a feature writer and columnist for Kitchen Garden magazine and a public speaker!
Using her fresh approach, she promotes the magic of growing your own and positive wellbeing for all ages. Inspiring more people, to put down their phones, get outside and pick up a spade!
What is the aim of Life at No.27?
Life at No.27 aims to use the power of gardening to support anyone struggling with low confidence, self-esteem, isolation and mental ill-health.
Life at No.27 works to change the way allotments and growing your own are viewed and bring laughter, pure joy and wheelbarrows full of empathy to the gardening world. Showing that gardening can change your life in so many ways, both mentally and physically – whilst keeping it simple, easy and more than anything fun.
Annabelle is now developing and building her UK wide vision for Life at No.27 – creating an allotment-based support network to help change lives across the country, accessible through self-referral, GP’s, psychiatrists and local councils.
Since 2019, Annabelle has built and opened two allotment therapy sites and gardens across West Northamptonshire in Towcester and Brackley. She also works in schools and within the community across Oxfordshire.
The organisation is constantly driving for change from the government to make gardening and ‘Grow Your Own’ a prescribed therapy option for those suffering from mental ill-health, low confidence and loneliness.
A word from Annabelle
As Annabelle puts it – “We want to create change – make a real difference and safely support as many people as possible across the UK. Offering a different preventative therapy option for all ages, that is creative and outside in nature. The great outdoors and plants are such readily accessible and naturally intrinsic outlets for us in times of need.”
Annabelle continues, Life at No.27 means an incredible amount to me, and that may sound extreme, but it is an organisation that I dreamt of creating during my own periods of mental ill-health. I had my own allotment, which was a massive helpline for me, I wanted to try out an alternative method from the options I had access to. I wanted to combine the allotment experience safely with psychotherapy, but in a way that was free or very low-cost for everyone! Creating an option that I was not offered but that I know would have definitely helped me throughout my childhood and adult years.
Life at No.27 now helps people by giving them a safe space outside which they may not have had before, a place that is totally theirs but with professionals available on hand to support them. As well as an opportunity to talk and express themselves freely. that can bring on occasions. Importantly, we are simply facilitators also, connecting people with the ground and teaching them how to reap the rewards. Great, delicious, healthy food, but also increased confidence, self-esteem, resilience and a more positive perspective.
The vision going forwards is to keep supporting those in need and gradually raise enough funds so that we can keep expanding and support new people in new areas!
Life at Number 27 shares a common dedication with ProMedical in putting people first! We share the vision and mission of Annabelle- to create solutions that respect the environment, embrace nature, raise awareness of mental health issues and find solutions that are sustainable and environmentally empathetic.
We know from our devoted flexible workforce how huge mental health issues are in and out of the profession- having solutions that respect and fit into the diverse culture we live in is a welcome option for many.
Let’s mind our mental health and wellbeing and embrace the great outdoors when we can!
If you want to find out more about Life at No.27 visit Annabelle’s website here for more information.