Green dream

Liz Nicholls

Godalming

The Green Hub in Milford, which has just had its first birthday, offers a vital support space for teenagers struggling with their mental health

Just one year ago you‘d find the Green Hub Project for Teens on Facebook looking for local folk to join a DIY SOS-style weekend, to transform their tranquil garden in Milford. This month the garden celebrates its first birthday.

Over its first year Green Hub Project for Teens has transformed from an idea in its embryonic stage into a confident adolescent.

The garden is the vision of local chiropractor Tone Tellefsen Hughes. “I’ve seen so much trauma through my clinic in recent years,” she says. “But since Covid, it’s become unimaginably bad, so many young people experiencing a tough time – it’s heart-breaking. This is why we are reaching out to families with teens struggling with low to moderate social anxiety, stress and overwhelm.”

Tone’s co-chair, local business coach Vanessa Lanham-Day, has been instrumental in creating the momentum behind the project. “The garden and teen volunteering is such a simple concept – it’s all about providing time out in nature and calm.

But, for the teens to benefit from time spent in the garden, there has been a whole machine that needed to be created. We have been busy spreading the word as well as building relationships with GPs, schools and youth organisations – but the most passionate requests come from parents themselves.

Teens spend up to 12 weeks becoming garden volunteers, under the guidance of adult leaders – there are morning and afternoon sessions (all free) each Saturday for up to eight teens. The process isn’t “therapy” problems aren’t discussed, and no advice is given – but the process is undoubtedly therapeutic.

Tone adds: “Science shows that being in nature allows the brain to calm down and settle a little, like a busy snow globe when the snow falls. When you immerse yourself in an activity – especially in nature – your brain is unable to do anything else and this gives the busy teenage brain a chance to rest and make sense of what’s been going on in their world. There are long term benefits after a garden session, as well as finding a connection which has been so sorely missed since the pandemic for so many.”

Tone and Vanessa would also like to find other garden spaces to extend the programme.

Parents who want to refer a teen to the project should visit greenhub.org.uk/parent-refer

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Running, for good elf

Round & About

Godalming

Take part in the Santa & Elf fun runs in Hindhead, Godalming and Farnborough this month to raise money for a life-changing charity.

Phyllis Tuckwell’s Santa & Elf Fun Runs are the perfect way to get all the family in the festive spirit this Christmas.

The charity has three events to choose from: the first on Sunday, 1st December, at the picturesque Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hindhead, then The Pepperpot in Godalming for a 4k route on Saturday 14th December and lastly at The Wavell School in Farnborough on Sunday, 15th December.

“This year we’re celebrating 40 years of hospice care,” says fundraising manager Gemma Jones, “so asking everyone who registers to raise just £40 to mark our special ruby anniversary!

“We rely heavily on the support of our community to continue providing our services across west Surrey and north-east Hampshire. We have to raise over £20,000 every day to do this and events like this make a real difference; helping us to raise some of the funds we need. Come along and support Phyllis Tuckwell this Christmas.

More info

Registration is £16 for adults and £9 for children (under 14) and all who register will receive a Santa suit for adults and an elf hat for children. Register in advance as fees will be higher on the day. To register your place visit…