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Your vote is needed – Orbit mental health project named finalist

A project supporting people struggling with mental health in East Anglia is in the running for a national award recognising innovative projects benefitting communities.

Rebuilding lives, empowering individuals and broadening horizons, are all benefits of the Orbit-funded Appleseed programme created for people with mental health conditions.

The Appleseed project, based near Norwich, has been named as a finalist in the Community Impact Awards health and wellbeing category.

Organisers of the project are now calling on local people’s support to vote for it to win the award.

The 12-week programme, run by Appleseed, a social enterprise giving people access to working outdoors and with animals, helps with mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression. 

This project builds on the success of care farms, which help people to recover and find employment, by working on an active farm, growing fruit and vegetables, as well as looking after livestock.

As the third largest housing association in the Greater Norwich area, managing 1,354 homes, 37% of Orbit’s customers within Norwich have reported suffering with or living with somebody with a mental health issue/disability.

Sam Scharf, head of community investment at Orbit, said: “We would encourage people to vote for Appleseed and recognise the difference the project has made in changing many people’s lives.

“Orbit funded the programme through its community investment health and wellbeing offer, to enable customers and the community to develop skills, increase confidence and improve mental health and wellbeing.”

One person, who benefitted from the Appleseed project, said: “I feel mentally and physically stronger, and I am tired after a Friday which is good because normally I don’t sleep.”

In 2015-16 Orbit invested £3million into the communities in which it works, to provide employment and training opportunities, health and wellbeing programmes, digital inclusion support and financial advice.

You can vote for the Appleseed project at http://ciw.housing.org.uk/polls/health-wellbeing/ 

If you want more information on the work of Appleseed or think what they do could be right for you contact 07881 952416 or email greg@appleseed.org.uk

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