Ben’s story

Joining the Community Allotment project got my life back on track.

Following the break-up his long-term relationship and loss of his job, Ben had become severely depressed and was suffering from anxiety.

His councillor suggested the Walton Charity Community Allotment project and accompanied him on his first visit. Ben found participating incredibly difficult. Unable to focus, he struggled to get his mind off his trouble and felt he couldn’t and didn’t want to talk to anyone.

Despite finding this first visit challenging, Ben persisted. Following his counsellor’s advice of “Stick to the plan not the mood”, he started doing small tasks on the allotment with guidance and encouragement from Karen, the Community Allotment leader. Over time he discovered more and more tasks he was not only capable of but also enjoyed doing. Gradually he started to open up, began talking to others on the project, and soon started making new friends.

As Ben’s confidence grew, he was encouraged to use his experience on the allotment to take on a part-time gardening job. With his new skills, new friends, and now a new job, Ben felt able to fit back into society, something he thought would never be possible.

Today, Ben has a new job working once again in his degree field. Thanks to his experience at the Community Allotment, he feels like his life is back on track.

Walton Charity owns several allotment sites across the borough. Our Community Allotment in Walton on Thames, encourages people who feel isolated due to physical or mental health conditions to attend regular activities and learn new skills.