A MENTAL health charity is set to expand across the county with a new therapy garden.

Southend organisation Trust Links has been handed planning permission for the site in Vange Hill Drive, Vange, and is now seeking £250,000 in funding for the project.

The plan is to build the therapy garden behind the community centre where there used to be a small community allotment plot.

The charity already runs four Growing Together therapeutic community gardens around south Essex.

The gardens provide positive activities and support for people with mental health issues, learning disabilities, people with dementia and children, young people and families.

Growing Together Basildon will be a one-acre site with a timber framed building with a green living roof, herbaceous plants, vegetable plants, a potting shed and a gazebo.

Trust Links is applying for funding from a range of places for the £250,000 project and bosses are keen to hear from companies and community members who can help with this fundraising.

Matt King, chief executive of Trust Links, said “Growing Together is an effective and impactful community project in other areas in Southend, Castle Point and Rochford and we are excited about the prospect of bringing the project to Basildon.

“We have had really positive feedback from the local community in Vange already and are looking forward to working with them to bring the idea to life.

“Trust Links is a local independent charity, and we are keen to see how this supports even more local people.”

Therapeutic gardening uses a specially designed garden to meet the psychological, social and physical needs of users. We have seen it transform people’s lives.

Members undertake activities in the garden based on their individual needs and abilities, tending the gardens and looking after our chickens and guinea pigs.