The Healing Power of Nature at Ashfield Gardens

The Healing Power of Nature at Ashfield Gardens

At Camphill Village Trust, we believe in the transformative power of nature to support adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems. Ashfield Gardens in Stourbridge is a testament to this belief, providing a nurturing environment where individuals can grow and learn. Jenny, our dedicated Garden Manager, shares her insights on the vital role Ashfield Gardens plays in the lives of those we support, and the ongoing challenges we face post-COVID.

A day in the life at Ashfield Gardens 

Jenny has been with Camphill Village Trust for eight years, bringing her passion for horticulture and community to our gardens. Jenny says,

“I love seeing the people we support learn new skills and form friendships. They have a safe, welcoming space where they can just be themselves.” 

The garden offers a diverse range of activities, from feeding chickens and gardening to cooking classes and craft sessions. These activities are not just hobbies; they are therapeutic interventions that help improve cognitive abilities, socialisation, and overall well-being. Jenny emphasises, “Being outdoors and interacting with our animals, like our beloved pigs, helps individuals regulate their emotions and gain confidence.” 

Ashfield Gardens, Stourbridge, Camphill Village Trust

The impact of COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our community. “Coming out of lockdown was hard for many people,” Jenny explains. “It affected their motivation, sense of purpose, and confidence.” The isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic caused long-lasting anxiety for some, and it has taken time for many to relearn skills and rebuild their social interactions. 

The need for more space 

As we continue to support more individuals, the demand for our services grows. Jenny emphasises the urgent need for more indoor spaces. “As we grow, we need quiet corners for those who need a break and more workrooms to offer activities like nature crafts in smaller groups,” she says. An additional permanent structure, such as a log cabin, could provide much-needed space for therapeutic activities. 

Ashfield Gardens, Stourbridge, Camphill Village Trust

Looking to the future 

Despite the challenges, Jenny remains optimistic about the future. “Our community is growing, and with the right support, we can continue to offer meaningful opportunities for everyone,” she says. “We have beautiful land, facilities, a great team and a wide range of activities that help individuals learn, grow, and feel part of a community.” 

How you can help 

We invite you to join us in making a difference. Your support could help us to reach more people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems, so they have the spaces and opportunities they deserve. 

Visit our donation page to learn more about how you can contribute to our mission. 

At Ashfield Gardens, we see the positive impact of nature-based interventions every day. With your help, we can continue to empower and support adults with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems, ensuring they lead lives filled with opportunity and purpose. 

Donate today

About Camphill Village Trust 

Camphill Village Trust is a registered charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health problems. We provide a range of opportunities through our communities, including residential care, supported living, and meaningful work in nature-based settings. 

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