NAViGO are the owners of Grimsby Garden Centre, and the profit they turn puts proceeds back into supporting mental health services across North East Lincolnshire. The garden centre complex also offers training and employment opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals with mental health difficulties, providing over 5500 hours of horticultural therapy a year on average.
Working with local primary schools through their Grow With Us project, the centre encourages people from eight to 80 to get involved in green-fingered activity. The popular centre is currently undergoing transformation that has seen the opening of a new Potting Shed eatery – the first phase of a major redevelopment which will also see the introduction of an eco-friendly green barn – to be used for farmer’s markets, community activities and horticultural courses – and the creation of an independent retail hub built from reclaimed shipping containers.
A programme of horticultural therapy takes places across a number of sites. The NHS Forest trees are planted at Harrison House – the acute adult, state-of-the-art inpatient unit. The complex is set up in a very therapeutic way, opting for individual 10 bed lodges rather than traditional combined wards. It is in a quiet, leafy avenue and has beautiful, bee-friendly gardens between lodges. Each lodge has a secure, accessible garden for people to enjoy the outdoors. There is a well-tended memorial garden on site for a much-loved colleague who tragically died young. They have a small on-site allotment, greenhouse and a meadow which is home to their friendly chickens. The service users adore caring for the hens and their delicious eggs are used for patient meals.