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Changes to support during the Covid-19 outbreak

Please note, that our existing services will be replaced by telephone or video meetings from this time until further notice.

We recognise that with so many people experiencing uncertain times, isolation, loss of income and contact with friends and family, we have a key role to play in helping them manage their mental health and wellbeing. We are doing everything we can to design new services to help as many people as we can.

We will contact our existing participants individually to let them know of this development and to explain the alternative options that we’ve put in place to continue supporting them.

From Monday 23rd March 2020 you can email us if you need our support with your wellbeing adultwellbeingservices@dorsetmind.uk and we will do what we can to help you.

If you need urgent or crisis support with your mental health, please follow this link.

Spending time in green space or bringing nature in to your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. The GAP Project provides practical support by our trained staff and volunteers to those with mental health problems. Our aim is to improve the quality of life experienced by our participants. We achieve this by supporting them to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience whilst connecting with nature and other people.

Benefits of eco-therapy

Do you love spending time doing things like growing food or flowers? Being outdoors can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can:

  • Improve your mood, reduce stress/anger.
  • Help you take time-out and feel relaxed.
  • Improve your physical health.
  • Improve your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Help you make new connections.
  • Provide peer support.

Our Group Sessions

Our 2 hour sessions run twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays at our allotment plots at Louds Mill in Dorchester. We can provide bespoke programmes for groups or charities that could benefit from this service. In addition, we offer team-building days and/or projects for companies to work on the allotments.

The sessions run all year and the sort of activities you can expect include:

  • Sowing seeds and planting fruit and vegetables
  • Digging, weeding and pruning
  • Planning new spaces
  • Upcycling pallets into furniture
  • Creating wildlife habitats

Volunteer positions

  • GAP Project Volunteer
    This will involve maintaining the plots as well as offering support, encouragement and engagement with service participants undertaking gardening. We ask our volunteers to commit to 4 – 16 hours a month on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • GAP Project Service Support Volunteer
    We are also looking for service support volunteers who are able to offer a commitment of 3-6 hours per week. As well as the day to day running of the project, these volunteers will support the Dorset Mind Project Coordinator with tasks such as providing welcome inductions for participants and creating structured session plans. A DBS will be required for this role.

Service Participants

The aim of the service is to improve mental wellbeing through eco-therapy and to build and strengthen self-esteem, confidence and resilience in a peer-support environment.

Anyone with mild to moderate mental health and wellbeing challenges can access the service, if you are interested in participating please email: thegap@dorsetmind.uk 

The GAP project sweet peas

How did The GAP Project come about?

Dorset Mind, in partnership with Meyers Estate Agents, have created The GAP Project. The project was the idea of founders Mark and Claire Meyers as a result of lived experience in their family. They wanted to create a community project that would inspire people and bring them together to benefit the local area.

We were asked to become partners as we have experience delivering mental health support groups and services. We also have several mutual connections in Dorchester, who have kindly supported the project already, namely David Upshall Insurance Services, The Dorchester Lions, Cougar Fencing, HB Gardening, Humphries Kirk and S & R Downton Ltd – Building Contractors to name a few.

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