Replenishing garden for female survivors of sexual abuse
This is a partnership project with The Survivors' Network funded by Sussex Community Foundation and the Allen Lane Foundation.
Please get in touch if you or someone you know might be interested in attending one or more of our FREE sessions. Dates are on our calendar page and the poster below. Two experienced PLOT 22 volunteers Alison and Yvonne lead this project. Yvonne introduces it for us here:
Thyme and Space sessions aim to reduce the sense of shame and isolation often experienced by survivors of sexual abuse and violence. Creating opportunities for the development of friendships, new skills and confidence through gardening and sharing a vegetarian meal together. We want to enable survivors to spend time with others who share similar life journeys in a safe and nurturing space.
Spending time in nature is well-known to make people’s hearts sing! Fresh air, sunshine and just being out in the elements – we are immersed in the living world. We can set aside our worries and enjoy a connection with nature that is beyond our understanding. PLOT 22 is a beautiful and welcoming place for activities like sowing, digging, planting, weeding, harvesting, cooking or just sitting and enjoying a cup of tea. No previous experience of gardening or cooking is needed!
This project emerged from connections made at a team building visit to PLOT 22 by staff of Survivors’ Network in 2016. It was felt this could be a perfect place to encourage the healing process. Alison and I have the right skills, interest and experience so it's a great match for us to host and develop these opportunities. After several well received taster sessions in Autumn 2016 we have successfully raised funding to host more. Alongside us, a member of the Survivors’ Network staff attends one session per month providing specialist support on site when the need arises. We are keen to welcome women into the gorgeousness that is PLOT 22 sharing the positive impact it has on our wellbeing.
"It was special to inhabit a calming place of nature for a spell. It also felt a safe space to share and listen with my fellow women survivors, where such spaces rarely exist in the ‘outside’ world. Thank you all."
"Couldn’t be more pleased, all the anxiety and bad emotions/feelings disappeared as soon as I walked into the peaceful plot and met these lovely ladies! No pressure to talk or do anything that makes me feel uncomfortable."
"I really enjoyed the session at Plot 22. I normally find group things difficult but wanted to stay for longer as it’s so peaceful there."
Arriving and accessing the PLOT 22 site:
PLOT 22 is located on the Weald Allotments. A map and directions are here. The Weald is a locked allotment site and so please ensure you have our contact number on your phone to let us know you've arrived.
Once inside the gate turn left and you'll find PLOT 22 50 meters along the lane.
PLOT 22 has a no alcohol/substances policy and only vegetarian food is prepared and shared onsite.
We are grateful to Sussex Community Foundation and Allen Lane Foundation for funding theses sessions. Tesco have included us in the public voting in local stores under their ‘Bags for Life’ scheme for May and June 2017. We will be applying for further grant aid to keep these free sessions going so that they can become a regular breathing space in participants’ lives.