Save Our Site - Solihull Mind (SOS)
This petition made change with 1,017 supporters!
Please help us save a vital, free mental health service in Solihull!
Solihull Mind’s Conservation, Horticulture and Sport project has been serving members of the community with mental health problems for over 20 years. It is currently based on a 3.5 acre site just off Station Road in Knowle, where staff and service users have worked together to build a haven on previously derelict land.
It provides a service otherwise not readily available to people struggling with their mental health - services are underfunded and often difficult to access - but also contributes to the wider community, providing plants for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, growing produce to sell in popular seasonal pop-up shops, and empowering residents to develop practical horticultural and social skills.
However, if the proposed ‘Arden Triangle’ development goes ahead, this lifeline for people who are often struggling to cope may be cut off completely.
A bit of background about the site…
The site provides an area for Solihull residents with mental health problems to practise horticultural skills, exercise, socialise, or just relax in a calming environment. It is especially helpful to people who enjoy being outdoors but find public spaces like parks difficult to use due to feelings of anxiety or self-consciousness.
The project has been recognised as an example of good practice both locally and nationally, and the site includes a large cultivating area with polytunnels, an orchard and raised beds to help older people and those with physical disabilities get involved in growing. It is also home to conservation areas which have been developed by staff and service users to support a variety of plant, insect and amphibian life. Additionally, we host a weekly football club aimed at young men, who are statistically at a higher risk of suicide and often less likely to access mainstream mental health services.
But now, we need your help to prove the value of this service or risk losing it forever.
Staff, residents and supporters have been devastated by the news that this invaluable site has been included in Solihull Council’s Local Plan as part of the Arden Triangle development which is currently out for public consultation. Read the plan here: solihull.gov.uk/lpr (page 151)
If the development goes ahead as proposed, the services provided by the Conservation, Horticulture and Sport project will be decimated.
The most positive interpretation of the plans would still mean we lose much of our cultivating area, plus all of the area we have worked on over the past 20 years to develop into a grass sports pitch and outdoor exercise area; as well as our conservation meadow, wildlife pond, and the orchard we have planted to bring back original regional apple trees into the area.
These services cannot be easily replicated, if at all, in another location; not to mention the further distress that will be caused by the loss of several memorial trees and garden areas planted in memory of service users who have died during the lifetime of the project, and which provide a quiet area for both friends and family to come and remember.
The service we offer is free for residents with mental health problems, and at a time when we are constantly faced with cuts to mental health services, this relatively inexpensive service is more important than ever.
We are therefore asking residents and friends of Mind to please sign our petition and help us protect this longstanding, valued and vital service for local people.
If you would like to donate to this campaign and our cause directly then please visit Solihull Mind's official website (link below) and locate the 'Donate' button at the lower end of the front page.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring.
Today: Solihull Mind is counting on you
Solihull Mind needs your help with “Solihull Council Planning Committee: Save Our Site - Solihull Mind (SOS)”. Join Solihull Mind and 1,016 supporters today.