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Sponsored cycle to help garden grow

​Service users and staff at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) are preparing to put their pedal power to the test by completing a gruelling bike ride to raise money to develop a much-loved outside space.

The ten-strong team will set out from Foxhall House in Ipswich on Tuesday, 17 September and use a network of country lanes to cycle 52 miles to Northside House in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. Both units are run by NSFT and provide mental healthcare for people who have offended or are at risk of doing so.

The group are raising money towards an ongoing horticultural project at Foxhall House, which has seen staff and service users work together to transform an unused piece of land into a therapeutic outdoor space where they can relax away from the ward.

So far, they have added chicken coops and rabbit runs, dug a pond and created 16 vegetable plots – one for each of the bedrooms at the site. With the money raised from the bike ride, they hope to finish off the planting, purchase some animals and buy additional garden equipment to use in the future.

Ian Brown, Staff Nurse at Foxhall House, said: “We are really pleased with the work which has taken place so far. Our service users have truly embraced the project and put a lot of effort into creating a relaxing, non-clinical outdoor space which they can enjoy during time away from the ward.

“The project has given them the chance to develop their planning and budgeting skills, while we’ve also watched their confidence grow. We hope that they will be able to put some of the things they have learnt to good use after their discharge, and that their new-found skills may also open up job opportunities for them.

“Our service users have all been really enthusiastic and engaged in their therapy as a result of the project, which is fantastic news as it will make a big difference to their recovery.”

To support the ride, please visit

Caption: Service users and staff outside Foxhall House, Ipswich.

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