Keighley Healthy Living (KHL) would like to say a big thank you to our Food For Life, Get Togethers small grant. With this funding, we have managed to include 4 weeks of outdoor growing and gardening activities, centred around physical and mental health and wellbeing at our Outdoor Conversation Café. The café is for adults living in Keighley who feel lonely or isolated, those who have additional needs or people whose wanted support with their mental health. As spring arrived, we decided to add a splash of colour to KHL garden and the focus for the final session was colour and mental wellbeing. Individuals planted various multi-coloured edible plants and flowers whilst having a chat with others at the café, sharing planting tips and nostalgic memories!

To link planting food and healthy eating, our Nutritionist, Rebecca, created a platter of colourful fruit which complimented brilliantly the selection of rainbow coloured flowers! Christine, pictured here, scooping up a portion of fruit, said the fresh air had made her crave a refreshing snack, exclaiming “Oohh blueberries, I’m going to get some of those!”.
By the end of the conversation café, our visitors created 16 ‘pots of kindness’ including individual pots of lavender to help with their relaxation and self-care.
Each bag contained a lavender plant, a gift tag, a small flower decoration clip and an information sheet on ways lavender can be used to create beauty products and how it can also be an ingredient in cooking! People were eager to give their ‘pot of kindness’ to surprise a loved one, and talked about how good they felt to do a random act of kindness. Michelle told us “I’m going to give it to my mum! We had a little argument so I’m going to pot this lavender plant for her”.

When we announced to the group that ‘pots of kindness’ was our final Get Together to Plant and Share, everyone said they wanted to continue planting and growing at every Tuesday morning conversation café!, so the KHL garden is going to be bursting with colour, bees and butterflies. Being in nature also promoted suggestion of a bird feeder last week, so we put one up for them and participants were delighted to see birds arriving in the garden during our activity, as there had been no birds before.

People who’ve come along to our Plant & Share Get outdoor Get Togethers also told us they’ve felt their mood and sense of wellbeing has been boosted, and they’ve also felt they’ve done something kind and meaningful by being able to share a little pot of kindness with someone they know or care for.