Who we are
The Plot is a creative community wellbeing space emerging amongst the mint and nettles at Stanmer Park on the outskirts of Brighton! Established in 2019, The Plot is part of Stanmer Wellbeing Gardens – a group of sites managed by Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, where people can get involved in food-growing, gardening, education and nature connection activities.
Our vision is to create a sanctuary space for sharing and nurturing creativity, community spirit and connection.
This means continuing to co-create, build and grow a therapeutic space with our community – many of who have experiences of trauma and bring valuable thoughts and ideas about what a sanctuary means to them and how it can support them.
We are a group of individuals bringing backgrounds in horticulture and green space management, growing, environmental art therapy, forest school, occupational therapy, art therapy, mental health, public health, community development and the arts – to form The Plot collective. With expertise in working with mental health, wellbeing and trauma-focussed interventions – as well as working the land, horticulture, environmental and creative arts – we believe that calling on a range of elements helps everyone to find balance, feel resilient, awaken and celebrate different aspects of themselves. As well as spark respect, compassion, connection and understanding for others within a common ground.
All community members play a part in the growth and development of The Plot.
What We Offer
- Creative arts projects: camera-less photography and natural developing techniques; environmental arts; native crafts including pottery; charcoal-making; natural dying
- Nature-connection and nature-based activities; growing; ecotherapy
- Project-based collaborations that creatively use of the outside space and natural environment of The Plot and its surroundings to nurture wellbeing, growth and development
- Ongoing groups in partnership with local services and organisations (read more below!)
- One-off events that spark playfulness, explore and respond to the natural environment and the changing seasons
- Team Days and Practitioner Skill Sharing + Support Sessions
- Public and partnership events that promote community spirit and social connection
- Volunteering opportunities including monthly action days
- 1:1 and group therapy with registered and experienced practitioners
“Thank you for today this is exactly what was needed – after months of having to just keep going, often isolated. It is wonderful to be up here in person with others, connecting” ~ Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust CAMHS Arts Therapists Skill Sharing + Support Session
We are excited by our growing partnerships with some inspiring local groups.
We are really pleased to be working in partnership with RISE, a Brighton based domestic abuse charity. The plot has been developed with the help of survivors of domestic abuse. It is used for a weekly art + wellbeing group for young people, a quarterly women’s group, and other events and groups for survivors and their children who are recovering from abuse, as well as the staff working with them.
Other present and past partners and benefactors include: St John’s college, the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children’s Team, Brighton & Hove Social Services; The Hummingbird Project; Brighton & Hove Food Partnership; Brighton & Hove Specialist CAMHS; Sussex NHS Foundation Trust arts therapies staff; Brighton Refuge; young people supported by: West Sussex Looked After Children Team; Brighton & Hove social services; YMCA, among others.
New partnerships and projects for The Plot in 2023, include: working w/ Articulate on arts-based psycho-social support for young adults in Brighton, aged 18-25yrs old (Heads On, SPFT-funded); funding from University of Brighton Centre for Art & Wellbeing for a pottery, earthoven, growing & cooking project w/ young people seeking asylum and refugees.
The Plot enables access to a new green space where sensory and grounding activities build resilience and coping strategies. We use the metaphor of nature and the seasons to think about personal growth, healthy relationships and cycles of change – art making, growing, walking and talking together
If you are interested in exploring partnership opportunities, please contact us.
There is a growing group of volunteers who help at The Plot and behind the scenes.
We run regular action days that offer an opportunity to visit The Plot, volunteer for the day and find out more about getting involved.
If you would like to find out about volunteering or get involved in the next action day, please contact us.
If you can help us to do more, please see our donate page or contact us to talk through your ideas! We have seen a rise in the number of people approaching us, with a hope that their service users can find a healing outdoor space to be supported in. With several potential grants and funding opportunities on pause due to the pandemic we are asking for donations. Please see our donate page or contact us if you think you are able to help!