The Elfrida Society is based in Islington and works directly with people with learning disabilities to build connections and help make their lives happier and more fulfilling. They provide support to people of all ages and all experiences of vulnerability, including responding to urgent priority issues as well as holistic work to address underlying needs. Services offered include advocacy, campaigning, consultation, volunteer befriending, sports, arts and music.
Culpeper has worked with Elfrida for over 15 years. During that time we estimate over 120 individuals have benefitted from the Group. We provide the opportunity for adults with a range of learning disabilities to grow fruit and vegetables on a specially built raised bed. Garden Group members have also taken over the 6 tree pits in Dignum Lane, where we have sown seeds and planted bulbs. During the cold winter months, we cook healthy soups and cakes from fresh ingredients. Elfrida Group members also help out at our Events and Plant sales, serving teas and selling plants and bulbs. Our regular supported visits to Kew Gardens and the Farms & Gardens Autumn show are always popular with Elfrida members. The Group meets every Wednesday afternoon from 2-4pm.
The Southwood Smith Centre & Islington Mind Empower
Mind Empower offers drop-in sessions, lunches and a wealth of activities as well as one-to-one key work and support for all Islington residents who experience mental health problems. SSC takes referrals from all professional support staff as well as self-referrals. They offer a safe and friendly space for people to socialise, learn new skills and share their interests.
Culpeper has been working informally with adults with mental health issues since we began in 1982; however in 2000? We formed a Gardening Group in partnership with Mind Empower, and they were given a Plot at Culpeper. Mind were able to supply a member of staff to support the Group. In 2015, due to financial constraints and staff cuts, paid support was withdrawn. Since then, the Group has been supported by trained specialist volunteers, who accompany the Gardeners from the Centre and support them to access activities.
We have a large group of Artists & Gardeners who regularly attend on Monday afternoons from 1.30 -4pm. Arts activities with a botanic twist are popular during the winter months; facilitated by our own volunteer Resident Artist Igor Barros. We also provide seasonal Gardening and Horticultural training activities suitable for a wide level of skill.
Stuart Low Trust
Stuart Low Trust (SLT) is a health promotion charity based in Islington, north London. Their mission is to ensure that local people, especially those experiencing social isolation or mental distress, have access to the support they need for better health and wellbeing.
Stuart Low Trust was founded in memory of Stuart Low, a young Islington man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who took his own life after failing to find the support he needed to cope. SLT aims to counter the downward spiral of mental illness and social isolation by providing a welcoming place of support and community in a non-judgemental space.
SLT run a variety of activities, the majority of which are free or low cost. Most activities are evening and weekend events based in and around Islington. The Trust welcomes all participants regardless of their circumstances or area of residence. No formal arrangements are required to attend.
The Stuart Low Trust has a Plot at Culpeper; and the Garden Group runs on Thursday afternoons from 2? To 6pm. All are welcome to come along, help with weeding, pruning and maintenance and share a cuppa and a chat. The Group is run by volunteers.
Room to Heal
The aim of Room to Heal is supporting people who have survived torture and organised violence to rebuild their lives in exile. At the heart of their work lies the cultivation of a healing community through which people can overcome the legacy of their traumatic experiences. This is complimented by a holistic therapeutic programme and intensive casework support.
Room to Heal began at Culpeper Garden. It was born out of a wish for five refugees desperate for some green space in which to gather and feel free. A corner of our beautiful garden was given to this fledgling group, where each week, they would sit and talk, eat together and work on the allotment.
Now the community has grown to 80 people, men and women from 30 different countries who find in Room to Heal a family and place of belonging that helps them find security and meaning in life, and navigate the many challenges they face.
They have their own large Plot, where members can grow vegetables and flowers which remind them of home. Each week a different member cooks a wonderful meal shared with the Group