How Hannah grows with the flowers at Wantage Market Garden

Wendy and Hannah

At Wantage Market Garden, it’s not just the plants that are flourishing. For Hannah Crabb (pictured here on the right), who’s from Didcot, spending time amongst the growing flowers with green fingered friends has given her the chance to feel free.

“It’s good for the soul,” Hannah says, who’s been coming to the garden for five years. “It’s beautiful here. I love the outdoors, meeting new people and doing a bit of gardening!”

Wantage Market Garden is a cherished green space in southern Oxfordshire. It is owned by Oxfordshire County Council and sits to the back of the adult social care team’s Wantage Community Support Service building. The garden is looked after by community action group, Sustainable Wantage, in partnership with care providers Style Acre.

Hannah suffers with epilepsy and short-term memory loss that affects her everyday life but with the help of her support worker, Wendy Trueman (pictured on the left), she is able to come to the garden on a regular basis.

Wendy’s worked with Hannah for more than two years and has seen her confidence grow: “The garden really helps Hannah’s outlook on life. There are times when she’s struggling emotionally but, when we get here, it lifts her mood and gives her something positive to focus on.”

Wendy is employed by Style Acre, a charity that supports people with learning difficulties and autism. They help around 275 people in the county in supported living housing as well as providing opportunities for day activities and social enterprises to help service users find employment.

Wantage Market Garden 1

While Style Acre supports the people, the main garden is managed by Sustainable Wantage, which brings in volunteers at weekends to help keep the site maintained.

On the surface, the garden is a simple programme, helping adults needing additional support to feel the benefits of nature. But dig a little deeper and you will find the roots of the county council’s Oxfordshire Way – an approach which is fundamentally transforming how care is delivered in the county.

By focusing on each individual, and working with community partners, people are being helped to live well within their community, remaining fit and healthy for as long as possible.

For Hannah, the garden’s tranquillity not only benefits her mental wellbeing but also helps her to control her epilepsy, giving her greater confidence to live life her way, without the need for more formal care.

Wantage Market Garden 2

And while many gardeners are thinking about packing their tools away for the winter, Hannah has big plans ahead. “We’ll be making Christmas wreaths and decorations soon,” she says. And for anyone thinking about coming to the garden, Hannah has one message: “Come on down! If you like being outdoors and meeting new people – you’ll just love it here!”.

Wantage Market Garden welcomes the public over the weekend with prearranged visits available. For more information search for Wantage Market Garden on Facebook.

Take a look at our video to find out more.


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