A project aimed at improving the mental wellbeing of Southend communities through connecting with nature and the environment, has been granted much-needed funding.

The project, called ‘Wellbeing at Garon Park’ has been able to continue its great charity work thanks to £2,000 of funding from Essex & Suffolk Water’s environmental project funding scheme, Branch Out.




‘Wellbeing at Garon Park’ provides locals with sustainable facilities such as an activity shed and a nature pond – which can be used to increase the good physical, mental and sensory health of the residents.


The donation means that the charity will now be able to further develop its wellbeing trail, sensory garden, wildlife meadow and bird hide, which will further enhance the facilities across the 32-acre site.


The funding will also help to support its community garden, heritage orchard and nature school to engage the local community and inspire them to appreciate the natural world.


As well as utilising the space for residents, the funding will also help to improve the beauty, biodiversity and environmental value of the area.


Clive Shiret, Trustee for Wellbeing at Garon Park said: “Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted further, we believe that our project addresses the needs of the local community now more than ever.


“The impact of COVID 19 will undoubtedly be seen in the coming months and years, with the deterioration in mental health, increased social isolation and poor physical and emotional wellbeing.


“Thanks to the funding from Essex & Suffolk Water, we are now in a position to be able to react to the needs of the local community and welcome people to Garon Park.”


Essex & Suffolk Water's Conservation and Land Manager, Miranda Cooper, said: "After the past two years, we have all seen first hand the importance of mental health and wellbeing, and we are incredibly proud to have been able to support this project.


“It’s fantastic to see that our Branch Out programme is making a positive difference and helping local projects reconnect habitats for the benefit of communities and wildlife.


"This will all help to build resilience, which is essential for supporting a healthy natural environment and for us to supply clear, great tasting drinking water.


"It's fantastic we can support local groups, organisations and charities in helping to make a difference to the communities we serve."


For 2022, Essex & Suffolk Water’s Branch Out fund is going to be focussing on Blue Spaces and Canopies to support improvements to the water environment and the Queen’s Green Canopy project. If you know of a worthy cause, applications are open until Monday 28 February.


All applications will be carefully considered and judged against set criteria. Full details on how to apply are available at 



Projects can also be supported by Essex & Suffolk Water's employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour, which allows employees to give a minimum of 15 hours every year to support community and charitable causes close to their hearts.