Who we are
The Plot is a 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 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
- 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, and will offer other events and groups for survivors and their children who are recovering from abuse, as well as the staff working with them.
We are offering a creative arts therapy group for young refugees in collaboration with our friends The Hummingbird Project. This includes an ‘introduction to Stanmer’ day led with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership to support greater awareness of Stanmer and build confidence in accessing the wellbeing gardens and their local area.
We will be working with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership on further events to offer introductory ‘welcome to Stanmer’ sessions for other groups, who may not know about or access the park and wellbeing gardens.
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.
We have adapted in response to the Covid-19 outbreak so that the local community can still access the site. Guidelines around social distancing have been followed and limits on numbers are in place to help keep everyone safe and well. We know that being able to connect with the outdoors and nature can be vital to wellbeing.
Existing volunteers have been able to continue to spend time at The Plot with children and others from their households. Time has been spent on activities such as keeping the weeds at bay or weaving new willow into the structures on site. Volunteers have harvested rhubarb, herbs and nettles to enjoy at home. We have just shared our first crops of Spinach with The Real Junk Food Project for local food distribution!
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!
Refugee Week takes place from 20 -26 June 2022. We encourage you to explore all that will be on offer online via www.refugeeweek.org.uk.