WhirlwindAs long time supporters of men’s mental health charity Whirlwind, we were more than happy to donate some of our Organic Lawn & Garden Mix and Compost products to the community garden project set up here in Kapiti last year.

The idea, as explained by co-founder and Clinical Director of Whirlwind, Martin Sloman, was to create a space where Whirlwind men, their families, and any other member of the community who was keen to volunteer, could grow and harvest produce to be distributed back to people in need within the community.

Happily, since its inception, the project has gone from strength-to-strength, with an increasing number of men and women joining in and contributing, either by growing seedlings, donating to the community garden compost heap or building chicken coops.

We recently caught up with the Whirlwind team at their ‘Almost Spring BBQ’, held at the Community Garden, to hear how things have been progressing.

“Our team of volunteers have found that our regular Saturday morning get-togethers have proved to be a powerful bonding, feel-good exercise.  We’re doing something philanthropic, but we’re also out embracing nature and fresh air, as well as socialising with friends: things that have been shown to have positive effects on mental health.”

– Martin Sloman, Whirlwind Founder

Whirlwind Community GardenThe team have utilised the space, generously donated by local businessman Noel Mason, to grow an array of produce, including brassicas, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, silverbeet, broad beans, strawberries, currants, garlic, herbs and carrots, which they distribute to those in need within the community.

Rescued chooks are also re-homed to members of the collective or larger community who are willing and able to take them.

It’s a truly collaborative effort, and Martin is keen to stress the inclusiveness of the project:-

“This project is not just for men, or for those with a focus on mental health.  Much of what we do at Whirlwind is within groups of men looking to embrace positive mental health, but many of our supporters are female, so this is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to come together to make a difference within our community.”

For further enquiries or to get involved with the Community Garden, contact Whirlwind via admin@whirlwindstories.com 

To make a donation to Whirlwind and help fund the fantastic work they do in the men’s mental health space, click here.

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