We are delighted to have received funding from the National Lottery, which is awarded to us over a four-year period. Root and Branch have used this to help fund the employment of a Therapeutic Gardener who, in addition to holding a Master Gardener Qualification, has also trained in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. This means working jointly with our Mental Health Keyworkers, we are able to build a set of activities for each gardener to improve their particular mental health needs and work on the goals participants want to achieve towards recovery.
Thank you National Lottery Community Fund!
We are thrilled to announce that our Winter Fayre in December raised £2700! A huge THANK YOU to everyone for supporting us! We hope you have enjoyed your festive wreaths and gifts.
January is a time for reflection, for new resolutions and a chance for new beginnings. Our newly appointed Employment and Development Coach, Beth, will be supporting our gardeners to do just that. As part of her role, Beth will help assist our gardeners identify and execute potential learning opportunities for development and growth, learning new skills, enrolling on new courses and partaking in volunteering both at Root and Branch and through our work with our partners.
Beth will also be responsible for championing our Healthy Hearts Initiative; an initiative that helps support Root and Branch’s ethos which views mental health holistically, believing that physical activity not only benefits the body, but also the mind.
Starting in April 2022, this initiative has already increased levels of physical activity through the introduction of garden games, such as croquet, boules and quoits in the beautiful rural setting of Westmill Farm. We have also introduced weekly walks with our volunteers taking advantage of the wonderful countryside. And for 2023 we will be engaging in recreation such as Yoga, Pilates, and Tai-Chi to name a few, as well as completing our virtual walk from Lands End to John O’ Groats.
If you feel that 2023 is the year for you to start a new challenge or adventure in a rewarding environment, and you have a skill to share or the time to spare, then why not join us and volunteer at Root and Branch. Perhaps you are a whizz in the kitchen and can help support our garden to plate mantra, or your love of walking and physical activity can help us reach our John O’ Groats goal, then we at Root and Branch would love to hear from you.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supports Root and Branch, wishing them all a happy and healthy 2023!
Thank you to everyone who came to our plant fayre yesterday. We are delighted to announce that you helped us to raise over £2000 which will help us to support our beneficiaries.
Spring is almost here! We are enjoying snowdrops and crocuses, and planning for a bumper crop of veg and plants for the year ahead.
We are very grateful to Faringdon Rotary Club for upgrading our parking and paving area which now offers a safe and welcome access to our buildings.
Looking ahead, we plan to recruit a new Garden Manager and Fundraiser to our team. Keep an eye on our vacancies page for more details.
We will be holding our annual plant sale on Sunday 15th May with a Jubilee theme. Fill your gardens with flowers on this longer bank holiday!
In the meantime, keep an eye on our Facebook page for pop up plant stalls. We have potted bulbs sprouting ready to be displayed. (https://www.facebook.com/RootandBranchWestmill)
Following the success of our May plant sale, we will be holding another one on Sunday 20th June for a slightly shorter duration of between 10am - 12pm. Once again we have a wonderful selection of plants and it would be lovely to see you again. As last time, this will be a garden only event and we ask you to please respect physical distancing while you are on site. We can now accept card payments in the garden too.
We look forward to welcoming you !
We will be holding a plant sale on Sunday 23rd May between 10am - 2pm. We have an extremely bountiful number of annuals and perennials on offer this year and wonderful healthy veg plants and herbs. Please do come and support us, it would be lovely to see you. This is a garden only event and we ask you to please respect physical distancing while you are on site. We can now accept card payments in the garden too.
We look forward to welcoming you !
We are very pleased to have re-opened our site again and welcomed our service users and volunteers to a beautiful garden. We have already had creative and constructive days, with relief for connection, social interaction and enthusiasm, bringing hope for the future.
As we transition through our phased approach to re-opening, we continue to
plan for indoor activities and would welcome applications for volunteers in all
areas: gardening, craft, cooking, woodwork, IT, fundraising. Please click on our
Get Involved page for more information.
If you are planning your garden, watch this space for plant sales as we are busy
sowing, dividing and potting on a wide selection of plants and vegetables to have available.
We are very pleased to announce that, subject to national lockdown restrictions lifting and reduced local infection rates, our site on Westmill Farm will be opening again from 22nd March. This will be a phased approach, starting with outdoor and gardening activities and maintaining safety measures of 'Hands, Face, Space'. Indoor activities will be phased in gradually when assessed as safe to do so.
We are really looking forward to the year ahead and would like to thank everyone for your continued support and donations during this challenging time.
This month we completed a 'virtual steps challenge', counting our combined steps to walk from London to Paris in time for Valentine's Day. Individual step counts ranged from 1750 steps to over 10,000 steps a day, using pedometers and smartphone apps. Participants have enjoyed the achievement and are now on the way to 'see' the tulips in Amsterdam.
This week we launched our Virtual Lunch Club for our service users, to encourage healthy eating, improve confidence in the kitchen and help reduce loneliness and isolation.
On the menu this week were Minestrone Soup and Poppy Seed rolls. Recipes were sent out in advance and there was a live 'cook-along' demonstration to allow for asking questions, as well as some time for a chat and a laugh. Here are a couple of pictures showing what one service user achieved. Delicious!
Thank you to everyone who bought wreaths from us this year - we are thrilled to announce
you helped us raise over £600 for the project.
After a long time of planning, we were able to install our new log cabin this month. This space will be used in 2021 as a dining area / classroom space for our Service Users. We would like to thank Faringdon Rotary for their fantastic help with applying the wood treatment.
Finally, as we close now for the Christmas period, we would like to wish everybody a peaceful Christmas and hope to see you back at events in 2021!
Whilst we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, we are mindful that many people find the festive season a very difficult time. As the uncertainty of the pandemic continues, albeit with a vaccine in reach, it is essential that support for people with enduring mental health needs continues.
After careful consideration to the risks to service users, staff and volunteers, it has been decided to return to remote support for the lockdown period, with ongoing reviews in the meantime.
Root and Branch will give telephone support to service users, helping to manage anxieties, focus on daily routines and goals. We aim to improve online access to continue learning skills such as gardening, crafts, IT, cooking and exercise as well as ensure social networks are maintained using our own group Zoom calls.
Thank you to those of you who supported us in 2020. During this very difficult year, your generosity had made a great difference and we really do appreciate it. But we still need your help, please do continue to support us. There are lots of ways you can help:
- Give a one-off donation with Just Giving (gift aid) to Root and Branch Westmill
- Shop with Amazon Smile
- Set up a monthly standing order
- Get fit and get sponsored
- Hold a cake sale
Please get in touch if you have any questions or ideas about how you can support us.
Wishing everyone a healthy and successful 2021! Stay in touch with us and stay safe.
We would like to say a huge thank you to an anonymous donor who has recently donated £500 towards our Just Giving campaign. Your generosity is already making a difference.
We have recently taken the decision to cancel our Winter Fayre due to the ongoing pandemic. However watch this space for alternative fundraising initiatives.
2020 has been a difficult and challenging year so far and, like so many other businesses we had to close our doors temporarily. In the period of closure we were able to continue to provide our support to our Service Users in a remote but truly continual and beneficial way. We are thrilled that we have now re-opened to existing Service Users albeit in a reduced and safe capacity, but wanted to share some of the amazing work completed by Service Users at home during this period.
More beautiful ceramics created here at Root & Branch.
Please do consider supporting us through your Amazon purchases by using AmazonSmile. By nominating us as your charity of choice, 0.5% of the cost of eligible AmazonSmile purchases will be donated.