Catching Lives has kindly been offered a piece of farmland for the next five years, which will be used to grow produce for our kitchen at the Catching Lives Open Centre, where our team of volunteers cook meals for the homeless and vulnerably housed of Canterbury and East Kent on a daily basis.
We will be encouraging some of our clients to get involved, learning new skills and providing a purpose and structure for them to help with growing fruit and vegetables, giving a sense of accomplishment that can be difficult to find when rough sleeping.
The project is designed to be a calming experience for our clients, who often find themselves in stressful situations both prior to and whilst rough sleeping. Gardening is exceptionally good for mental health and Catching Lives prides itself on looking after the health and wellbeing of clients, volunteers and staff.
Farming the land and using the produce that clients have grown promotes sustainability and a connection to a local community, when served a meal that has been grown on nearby farmland by a team that they know.
The skills gained at the farmland will be useful and could lead to opportunities for clients in finding work or further training.