Grow Your Own

Grow Your Own (GYO) is an initiative led by HSIS on behalf of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust to support service users through their recovery, boost self-confidence and promote independence.

Service Users, carers, HSIS and LCFT staff members volunteer to support the GYO project in a variety of ways:

  • Planting seeds and potting-on plants
  • Nurturing and maintaining plants
  • Creating hanging baskets and tubs
  • Harvesting fruit and vegetables
  • Recycling and up-cycling of materials for different uses
  • Getting involved in creative arts projects

Volunteers learn a range of skills and are able to develop knowledge about horticulture, tool use, preparing and cooking fruits and vegetables as well as benefiting from the therapeutic activity of gardening, fresh air and exercise.  

GYO helps to provide fresh produce to service users based at the Guild Lodge site, as well as assisting Step Down Unit (SDU) service users to develop the skills necessary to provide and cook for themselves, ultimately leading them towards independent living.

Education and Apprenticeships

GYO provides meaningful and rewarding roles for service users, hear what they have to say about the project below.

Service User Experience

“I enjoy coming to the grow your own because of the freedom I get plenty of fresh air lots of things to do to keep you busy and active very therapeutic a totally relaxed regime. Gives you something positive to do instead of staying on the ward all day puts you in a positive frame of mind for in the future. It’s good for physical exercise weeding uses your arms and shoulders.”

“Myself and other service users have developed the site for people to relax and enjoy their surroundings. I found it good to work by myself or as a team to fulfil any task that may be required. I also find it beneficial for me to get my exercise, this I do rather than using the gym or other exercise activities, I also feel that doing the grow your own gives me structure through the week and gives me the confidence to find employment in the future. I would like to say that all the team down here are friendly and have a good sense of humour and all of us are listened to if we feel anything such as development can be made. I have enjoyed Grow Your Own while I have been here and would like to attend until I get discharged from the hospital.”

“People didn’t think that I had the get up and go to do it , I used to stay down here for hours I gained my leave quicker and it meant I could go out to different places it gained trust back and I could go out without escorts reduced my risks. It slowly brought back my skills being in there your skills die off a little bit, it’s like if you didn’t talk for 12 months you would find it hard to talk. I opened up the horizon for others and made others aware and staff what it could do for people it gave assurances to others, I went to secure services and spoke about it to other people and the benefits it could do, it built my confidence. It’s like when somebody says do it one way but you say I can do it this way because of the experience I have had and being trusted to do it.  I walk a lot more than I used to and it’s a good fat burner. It’s helped being an escape from people nagging you and being bored at home, sometimes I have had enough of sitting in my four walls so I can come here instead and do something productive.”