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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Redbridge Institute adult learners recognised for their achievements

Language: EN

/epale/en/file/redbridge-institute-gardening-mindRedbridge Institute Gardening In Mind

Redbridge Institute Gardening In Mind

Mental health problems are a major cost to the UK economy. The Mental Health Foundation estimated the wider economic costs of mental health problems in England at £105 billion/ year for 2009/10. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 adults and can affect people from all backgrounds. Those disadvantaged socially, educationally or economically are particularly vulnerable. Research by LSE and Institute of Education identified a range of positive impacts on wellbeing resulting from participation in main stream community learning courses.

Gardening in Mind is part of the Learning in Mind project suite of courses, which are offered by Redbridge Institute for Adult Education in partnership with a wide range of local organisations. Learning in mind is a Department for Education (DfE) Community Learning mental health pilot, one of only nine approved in London. It aims to establish Learning in mind as one of the therapeutic pathways available to health and social care agencies in Redbridge.

Joni Cunningham, Principal, Redbridge Institute:

‘We have had another very successful year at the Institute with many learners already progressing onto work or further learning to support their career ambitions’.

These positive outcomes are further underlined by results from a survey of 324 learners at the end of the first year of the course, 69% of whom had mild or moderate anxiety and depression. Using an NHS assessment tool, 91% of participating learners reported improvements in their mental health, and 20% of participants on the project demonstrated reliable recovery, meaning they did not require any further medication.

At their recent Festival of Learning celebrations, Redbridge Institute for Adult Education recognised three of their learners for their outstanding commitment, engagement and development. Christine Sackett, David Krisman and Alexander Riviere, who are all learners on Redbridge Institute’s Gardening in Mind course for people with mild to moderate mental ill health, received a special award to acknowledge their individual contributions to the community and the project.

/epale/en/file/gardening-mind-learner-awardspngGardening in Mind Learner Awards.png

Gardening in Mind Learner Awards

The Learners

David Krisman has been attending Gardening in Mind alongside other non-vocational and vocational courses. He has achieved a 100% attendance record and is always punctual, reliable and enthusiastic. He gets on well with other learners and is always helpful and motivating to others. Although facing some significant physical barriers to learning, David always completes tasks on time to a very high standard and maintains a positive outlook. He has learned a great deal and plans to continue his learning journey. 

Christine Sackett is very dedicated to the pursuit of personal growth and development and has participated in a wide range of Learning in mind courses and activities. She has found a new joy on the Gardening in mind course and has acquired new skills which she has taken back to her own garden, working to transform it into a place of beauty. Christine has benefited immensely from being active in the Redbridge Institute garden, learning about the links between physical activity and improved mental health and wellbeing.

Alexander Riviere is retired and has attended many courses of our wider Learning in Mind programme from Learn to Meditate to Gardening in Mind. Alexander has proactively furthered his education and stayed active, making a valuable contribution to the garden. He is always keen to get his hands dirty, digging, planting and watering as needed. Alexander is a very dedicated learner who never misses a class. He is a much loved member of the group, sociable and enthusiastic. He is always keen to take on new challenges and support his fellow learners making him a very positive influence in the class.

The Learning in Mind pilot is part of a wider research project to test whether short, part-time community learning courses in adult education settings can help people develop strategies to manage mild to moderate mental ill health, specifically anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. This research is funded through the £20 million Department for Education (DfE) initiative announced in the 2014 Autumn Statement. For more information visit

/epale/en/file/redbridge-institutejpgRedbridge Institute.jpg

Redbridge Institute is the leading local provider in Redbridge (UK) of part-time day, evening and Saturday courses for adults. Each year 4000 people learn new skills or gain qualifications with us.

Tel: 020 8550 2398

Errolie Sermaine, the Learning in mind project co-ordinator can be contacted at 

Twitter: @rediae

Facebook: @rediae

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