Empowering people to improve their physical and mental health through horticulture
Name/Title/Company: Nemone Mercer, Core Landscapes Horticultural Nursery Manager
Describe yourself in five words: Passionate about horticulture and people
Describe your charity in 10 words: Core Landscapes transforms vacant land in deprived urban areas into hubs for community engagement through horticulture, design, workshops, training and events improving physical health, mental wellbeing and community cohesion, resulting in a green haven for the community by the community.
Core Landscapes is an award-winning movable community plant nursery, garden, food growing and event space housed on temporarily available land. Everything is container grown designed to with stand moves to new locations. An innovative showcase of a meanwhile space management embracing upcycling and recycling for community benefit.
What does your job involve? Empowering people to improve their physical and mental health by engaging with horticulture and the environment in a supportive and social setting. Weekly horticultural and carpentary sessions are delivered throughout the year to a wide variety of people e.g with poor physical and/or mental health, recovering from illness or injury, (long-term) unemployed people, retired/socially isolated, looking for work experience or horticultural training, local residents and families, other community growing projects and the general public.
I also oversee the general management and promotion of the project linking with external organisations both in the private and public sector and work closely with the Core Arts directors to deliver specific remits in line with Core Arts objectives.
What are the main benefits of corporate volunteers for your charity and why is corporate volunteering important? Corporate volunteers provide a financial and practical life-line to the Core Landscapes project undertaking large scale physical and construction tasks at a speed and scale that our regular volunteers would find challenging or impossible. Without our corporate friends Core Landscapes would not exist.
How has ELBA supported Core Landscapes (part of Core Arts)? ELBA had been instrumental in developing the current site in Canning Town to create not only a functional and safe site but also an innovative show-case of meanwhile space management that has given inspiration and support to numerous other community projects across London. Always a pleasure to work with directly, with a steady stream of enthusiastic and skilled volunteers.
Where would you like to see your charity in five years’ time? A thriving community hub and centre of excellence in the area of community horticulture for the benefit of mental and physical health. A space in which other community organisations and the wider public can engage with and enjoy as well as having a secure funding stream through expanded plant sales income, CSR engagement and NHS referred clients.
“ELBA had been instrumental in developing the current site in Canning Town to create not only a functional and safe site but also an innovative show-case of meanwhile space management that has given inspiration and support to numerous other community projects across London.”