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Parish councillor calls for organisations to 'help fund' Green Prescription in Twyford

A Twyford parish councillor has called on organisations to ‘help fund and sponsor’ the Green Prescription initiative in the village.

The initiative sees NHS and health organisations encouraging people with mental health problems to ‘look for more social ways of dealing with mental health issues’, including working outside and gardening.

Discussing the initiative at a planning and amenities meeting on Tuesday, September 3, Cllr Rohan Abeywardana said: “Nationally the primary care trusts are bringing GP practices together so they can offer this 24-hour service and become more efficient in servicing their communities.

“The Twyford surgery is linking with four other surgeries to service 60,000 patients.”

Cllr Abeywardana said, along with combining the five surgeries, a ‘social prescriber’ will be recruited with the aim of pushing forward the Green Prescription initiative in the area.

He said: “We need to wait for that individual to be recruited and also get local organisations to help fund and sponsor the initiative.

“I think we can start off quite small by using just one allotment plot and working with TATA [Twyford Allotments Tennants’ Association] and then to make sure all of the necessary steps are complied with and that we have relevant people in place to work with those who sign up to the initiative.”

Discussing the idea of the allotment, Cllr Malcolm Bray suggested having mentors with experience of gardening to help people and give them advice.

Cllr Abeywardana agreed, saying: “The whole idea is to have a group type initiative, to have mentors, like garden mentors and really to have a community.”

Cllr Bridget Ditcham suggested tying the initiative together with other groups which are working towards creating a greener village.

“There are all kinds of people, doing things with bees, with gardening, with TRIP [Twyford Rethinks Its Plastic] and there’s a lot of duplication. By having everybody working together under an umbrella organisation, we then have more power but we wouldn’t be duplicating actions.”

Going forward, Cllr Abeywardana said: “We need to email different organisations within Twyford and arrange for us to meet up and discuss these initiatives and take a joint approach.”

The planning and amenities committee agreed to set a date for a meeting with the organisations who have shown interest at the next meeting.

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