Over the last three weeks, we’ve run three half-day workshops for autistic children and young people from Leaways School to experience nature and learn about growing your own food. You can watch a video of that here.

When children with autism engage with the natural world, it provides them with opportunities to develop social skills and have new types of conversations. The sounds, smell and touch of insects, earth and plants are all sensory experiences that can be explored. And explore them we did!

Children heard all about growing food sustainably, felt different types of soil mix and helped us build a wormery.

Led by our Garden Community Organiser Dom, Mildmay Community Centre staff offered a safe, calm and inclusive space where vulnerable children and young people could engage in learning and feel part of their wider community. We want the centre to be an inclusive space for all of our community to connect and feel a sense of belonging, and see this project as a key part of that work.

The young people and their families came together on 4 July to celebrate their achievements and were awarded their head gardeners badges and certificates. The day brought friends and families together to share a lovely meal and partake in some gardening and nature art workshops.

We want to thank all staff for their hard work and the families and children for making it a great event! ☀️

We’d also really like to thank Neighbourly, Virgin Media and O2 for funding this project as part of the Together Fund, a nationwide initiative designed to specifically support local charities that champion and celebrate community spirit, belonging and togetherness across the UK.

P.S. Here are some very cute thank you letters written by the children for Dom