Healthy Eating London News

Mindfood Running Local Nature Based Courses Supporting People to Manage & Improve Their Mental Wellbeing

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MindFood is an Ealing based community interest company that supports people with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and stress to improve their wellbeing through gardening and horticulture. We run our courses from two sites in Ealing, Cleveley Crescent near Hanger Lane tube station and Hordenden Hill near Perivale tube station. Our courses are designed to be a fun balance of learning how to grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables whilst becoming more mindful of ways to improve our wellbeing. Click below to find our more about each course.

The Mindfood Team

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Ciaran Co-Founded MindFood in 2012, with overall responsibility for managing the social enterprise. Ciaran first became aware of the large population of people with mental health issues in West London when he volunteered on a local church project. “Every week people would share with us that they felt like they had been sidelined from society and that they were of little worth”. MindFood was born as result this need & a desire to provide a solution where we can offer opportunities for people to realise that that they are of worth and that they can achieve and they can literally see the fruits of their labour. Favourite good mood food: The tasty varieties of tomatoes that we grow

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Pauline first signed up MindFood as a service user in 2016 before joining us as a Facilitator and Service Designer in 2017. Pauline has over a decade of experience in managing transformation programmes for the public sector and innovation programmes for ventures. With a passion for gardening and lived experience of mental health challenges, Pauline supports our gardeners to develop their horticulture skills as a facilitator on our Plot to Plate programme in our market garden in Ealing. She leads on embedding service design methods and principles in our work. Pauline volunteers at Thrive Battersea and is training to become an accredited practitioner in Social Therapeutic Horticulture. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and the West London Mental Health Trust Favourite good mood food: freshly podded peas

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Nick Jones is the Church of England Rector of Acton, responsible for the churches of St Mary and All Saints as well as wider parish duties.  He has been a member of the clergy since 1993 serving in Cambridgeshire, Yorkshire and HM Prison Service  (where he was a prison manager) before coming to London in 2015.  He is a community activist, currently on the Leadership Team of West London Citizens, Vice Chair of Governors at Derwentwater Primary School and Trustee of Acton Community Forum.  He is also a qualified Restorative Justice facilitator and trainer.  He has long experience of third sector governance and, with lived experience of mental health issues, is a passionate advocate of well-being and individual/community flourishing. Favourite Good Mood Food: Carrots

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Lucy is MindFood’s Wellbeing & Food Grower. You may recognise her from the MindFood video! She first came to MindFood as a participant early in 2015 – the Growing Wellbeing course gave her the tools, time and space to recover from burnout and depression, but also inspired her to train for a new career in Social & Therapeutic Horticulture with Thrive and Capel Manor. Along the way she has gained experience and training in mental health with Mind, and by supporting various MindFood projects including Plot to Plate, community outreach and selling our veg at Acton Market and Horsenden Hill Farm. Seeing how nature can make such a difference to my mental health has been life-changing! And at MindFood I see others discovering this for themselves all the time. Favourite Good mood food – any food grown and prepared with TLC. But if i had to choose, it would have to be this year’s allotment-grown toms. Made my heart sing every time I ate one!

How You Can Get Involved With Mindfood

Volunteer as part of our growing team: We are looking for volunteers with some horticultural or agricultural experience who also want to give something back by sharing their skills or simply their empathy and smiles with the vulnerable people that we work.This is an excellent opportunity to practice and learn horticulture in a unique environment. We can offer transportation out to Amersham from West London for free and you’ll obviously get to eat some of the good mood food that you grow!

Corporate support and team building: We offer corporates a wide range of ways that you can support MindFood whist also delivering value to your business

  • Farm Experience Days – Swap the office for a team building away day on a farm in an area of outstanding natural beauty. We have meeting rooms and lots of fresh air! Guaranteed to get creative juices going. 
  • Make a Difference Day – If your company allocates a day for employees to volunteer then why not choose MindFood and have a day to remember! 
  • Gift In Kind 
  • Pro-bono support