From time to time people tell us what a difference what we do makes. Not perhaps in an obvious way. It is not really about gardening, or yoga, or wild play. It is about people coming together to find themselves, each other and ways of acting together which make our shared world better. But we would say that wouldn’t we? So here is the first of our posts in the words of others who are part of what we do and understand why.
Come to the Park! by Michelle P
I moved to Tuebrook in the last two years and find Newsham Park a sensational place to be. I have experience of poor mental health. In the past this has resulted in me being instutionalised. Circumstances in which my only friends have been other people who have mental health problems, or staff trained to deal with people with mental health problems. This has benefits because people may understand either because they have similar experiences of the system or have expertise in this area. But it can also become deskilling when this state is constant and the only things you do are in group specifically and exclusively set up ‘mental health’ groups. Coming to Newsham Park has brought me in touch with a whole new set of people which grows all the time. I know now a lot of dog walkers and I know a lot of people who garden, do philisophy in the park, yoga, Chi Gung and came recently to an event called Feel the Love where we drew a compass of flowers, hearts and stars and painted them. There was a plant sale, yoga and wild play for children and a bring a share picnic which I particularly enjoyed because I met a lot of people and enjoyed lots of different food. This is important to me because through my new friends I have started cooking and eating differently and enjoying it. Now sometimes I cook a veggie meal without going to KFC and I am learning all the time to do more. The idea is now no one centres on me becuase I have mental health problems. People like me because of the person I am and we are getting together because we want to and through shared interests not health reasons.
Newsham Park is open to everyone whatever your background I am just telling you mine to hope to help others see how easy it is to come and join in. You will be welcomed and there are no exams! If you want to come along to the gardening you can do as little or as much as you like. Michelle P June 2016