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Sailing Together - at Southend Marine Activities Centre

Posted by Admin on July 11, 2015 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

It's not all gardening. Members and staff had a great time trying sailing and kayaking at Southend Marine Activities Centre. For most people it was their first time and they are hoping it’s not their last!

Hyde Hall visit - 8th June 2015

Posted by Admin on June 12, 2015 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Growing Together members and volunteers and Breakthrough Carers had a lovely day out at RHS Hyde Hall today. The rain held off until we got on the coach to come back to Southend! It was fantastic to see Luke, who is doing brilliantly on his RHS traineeship at Hyde Hall – we are so proud to see people progressing at Growing Together and moving on to pastures new! Luke even has his own vegetable plot at Hyde Hall and he enjoyed showing us what he has achieved.

May Fayre - Saturday 16th May 2015

Posted by Admin on May 24, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

What a fabulous day we had on Saturday at our May Fayre. Thank you so much to everyone who came along to buy plants or to discover the garden for the first time or to bag some free compost. Special thanks to Waitrose for attending with their tombola and to the Mudlark Community Choir and Keith Baxter for providing great music and Essex Bees for explaining all about bee keeping. A big thank you too to all our wonderful volunteers without whom we could not run such a successful event. We raised the magnificent total of £1140, money that will go towards improving the well being of people across Southend experiencing mental health issues.

Potato Day 21st February 2015

Posted by Admin on February 27, 2015 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

We once again held the annual Potato Day and another very successful day it proved, helped by bright sunshine on a cool February day, raising over £300 for our charity.

250 people came on the day and purchased their seed potatoes, onion sets, jacket potatoes and homemade cakes. The children enjoyed visiting the chickens, potato printing and exploring the Growing Together garden. South East Essex Organic Gardeners organised the day in partnership with Trust Links.


Wassailing Sunday 8th February 2015

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2015 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The first wassailing day to be held in South East Essex for many years was a great success as more than 200 people joined Trust Links, the Southend-based mental health charity to celebrate their Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant at St Laurence Orchard in Eastwoodbury Lane.

The orchard was thronged with people, joining the procession through the trees led by storyteller and musician Kiti Theobald. Toasted bread was placed in the trees to encourage birds in to the orchard and traditional songs and exultations to the trees were sung to ensure a good crop in the autumn. Two new walnuts trees were planted too.

Matt King, Chief Executive Officer of Trust Links said 'It was fantastic to see so many people joining us at the St Laurence Orchard to revive the tradition of wassailing. With such a great start, the Heritage Lottery funded project can only be successful and I can't wait to see how our members, staff and volunteers at Growing Together can tend and nurture this vital green space and create a wonderful oasis and wildlife habitat. We are keen for local people to volunteer on our monthly working parties at the Orchard to learn new skills and meet like-minded people.’

St Laurence Orchard is an important area of bio-diversity. It is a last oasis of an old orchard planted just after World War 1. The Heritage Lottery Fund award will allow Trust Links members and volunteers to work to protect and improve the orchard environment, tending the trees and encouraging the wildlife.

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Gardening Against the Odds

Posted by Admin on December 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)


We have been short listed for a national award and featured in the Sunday Telegraph! Please vote for The Growing Together Gardens via before 14 December.

Please tell all of your friends and family to vote for us too!

Christmas Open Day2014

Posted by Admin on December 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Growing Together was full of Christmas cheer on Saturday 29th November at our Christmas Open Day. More than 150 people came to the gardens and enjoyed meeting Father Christmas and Mother Christmas, joining in with carols and buying crafts, vegetables and honey. Volunteers helped serve homemade mince pies, turkey rolls and vegetable soup. The sun came out and visitors enjoyed looking around the garden and meeting the chickens. The Open Day made more than £750, which is a record for a Growing Together event. Growing Together provides positive activities for adults with mental health problems and learning disabilities. Christmas is a difficult time for many people – Growing Together brings people together in a supportive and nurturing environment. Members have enjoyed making wreaths and decorating the site.


Tracey & Steve

Posted by Admin on December 3, 2014 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Love has blossomed amongst the trees and vegetables at Trust Links Growing Together garden in Westcliff. Members Tracy Showell and Steve Turner tied the knot on Thursday 23rd October after meeting at the garden five years ago.


Following a ceremony at the Civic Centre in Southend, they celebrated their marriage in the garden with other members and volunteers of the charity.


This is the first wedding amongst its members and so it was only fitting that the venue for the reception was the very garden where Tracy and Steve met. Fellow members organised the catering and arranged the flowers for the happy couple who now look forward to growing together.

BBC 'Meet The Street' at Growing Together

Posted by Admin on November 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

It was lights, camera, action at our Westcliff community garden when presenters James Martin and Dom Littlewood visited the site. The pair were there to record an episode of a new show for BBC One, called Operation Meet The Street. Southend born Dom Littlewood (Cowboy Builders & Don’t Get Done Get Dom) returned to his home town with James to see the ways in which local charities and groups can help reduce loneliness and isolation. A celebratory Afternoon Tea was held by Trust Links at our Growing Together garden on Fairfax Drive, bringing together all of the people that Dom and James met through the programme. Growing Together is an award winning community garden working with adults with mental health problems and learning disabilities, which improves quality of life, social inclusion, mental health and work prospects. Producers of the programme felt it was the ideal venue for the celebration event, as the project embodies the TV programme’s aims of bringing people together to build a stronger community.

During the day Dom and James met the members, staff and volunteers at Growing Together to hear their stories and find out how their lives had been improved by their time at the project. Matt King, Chief Executive of Trust Links said: “It was great to have James Martin, Dom Littlewood and the film crew with us for the day at Growing Together. They enjoyed looking around the garden and the Afternoon Tea was wonderful, thanks to the hard work of our members and volunteers. James even gave us cooking tips on the vegetables we grow at the community garden and our members enjoyed posing for photos with Dom. We look forward to watching the programme on BBC One.” In the  series, Operation Meet The Street, James Martin spearheads a nationwide campaign designed to bring communities together and tackle the growing issue of loneliness in the UK. James invites five celebrities to go back to the street they grew up on to find out who lives there now and help them set up a real social network. As well as Dom Littlewood in Southend, other celebrities will be Alex Jones (The One Show) Dave Myers (Hairy Bikers), Helen Skelton (Holiday Hit Squad, Blue Peter) and Denise Lewis OBE (Olympic Gold medallist). Operation Meet The Streets began on BBC One on Monday 15th December at 9:15am and the Growing Together garden aired in the episode on Wednesday 17th December 2014.

 Video may be available here