Late last year we announced that as part of the “ACT” stage of our national campaign called MIND! The Gap, which focuses on young people and mental health, we would be developing a scheme at our National HQ site. Since then, we have been working up some funding options for the plan and have enlisted the support of our local MP.
In our research we found that increasingly, mental health is closely linked to the whole question of the environment and communities we inhabit, a point that Pope Francis makes in “Laudato Si’” in relation to the growth of cities: [they can become] huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water (in which) neighbourhoods, even those recently built, are congested, chaotic and lacking in sufficient green space. We were not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature.”
At the meeting, we discussed our vision of transforming the garden which surrounds our HQ into a place of relaxation, peace and community for the workers, parishioners, young people in the area and all YCW members.
As you may know, our HQ is currently in the centre of Europe’s biggest industrial park, next to a busy daytime shopping parade, with effectively no communal green spaces to use.
We would also see the growing garden and allotment aspects of this project as a unique opportunity to engage more deeply with former parishioners of St Antony’s, many of whom still regularly visit the site and have expressed their support for and willingness to help with the proposals.
Further updates will be shared on our website, so please keep an eye out for this.