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Go green for World Mental Health Day

A social enterprise in Lancashire is calling upon residents to go green for World Mental Health Day (10 October).

As a specialist in environmental services to regenerate local communities, Newground, which is a subsidiary of Together Housing Group, is keen to promote the positive impact that gardening and green spaces has on health and wellbeing.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, Newground is inviting Burnley residents to its Offshoots Permaculture Project, a community garden based in the old walled kitchen garden of Towneley Park, to experience the benefits for themselves.

Kasira Ahmed, Business Development Manager for Newground, said: “Not only can gardening be great physical exercise, which in turn helps boost your mood by releasing endorphins, our body’s own natural feel-good hormone, but it can help you connect with others, reducing feelings of isolation.”

Offshoots includes eco-friendly buildings powered by renewable energy, organic vegetable production, beekeeping, a forest garden, a wildlife pond and reed bed, a charcoal kiln and a backyard garden demonstration area.

Kasira added: “As we approach the annual ritual of putting the clocks back, gardening may seem like a pursuit which conflicts with the cold weather and dark nights but gardening can actually combat the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

“Even on a cloudy day the light outside is 20 times brighter than indoor lighting and research has shown that even just touching soil can help increase your serotonin levels and improve your mood.

“From a few minutes tending to vegetable patch to taking a brisk walk in the local park, time outside is something all of us can easily build into our daily lives to boost our health and wellbeing.”

Volunteers meet at Offshoots every Tuesday and Wednesday morning and Saturdays between 10am and 3pm. The garden is also available for community groups to book throughout the week.

Other events coming up at Offshoots include Apple Day on Saturday 13 October and a natural Christmas decorations workshop on Saturday 10 November.

For more information about volunteering at Offshoots or to find out about upcoming events, contact Daniel McDermott on 01254 265163 or

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