Band of Builders has helped construct the award winning “Constructing Minds” garden, it won two awards and incorporates materials found at construction sites.
The garden went on show at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, in July, where it was awarded the Best Show Garden and an RHS Silver Gilt Medal, and is also set to appear on the BBC’s Gardeners’ World programme. It was designed and created by Carolyn Hardern, Jon Jarvis and Leeds College of Building apprentices, with support from Band of Builders.
Nikki Davis, Principal and CEO of Leeds College of Building, said: “Carolyn first approached the college given our status as the only specialist general further education construction college in the UK.
“We were happy to lend a hand, given the importance of this topic. Data shows that an estimated 700 workers in construction sadly took their own lives during 2022, which is well above the average of any other sector in the UK and up significantly from the previous year.”
The 20m x 14m garden integrates trees, ferns and wildflower areas to create a sense of enclosure and refuge.
Gavin Crane, CEO of Band of Builders, said: “It is no secret that Band of Builders sees mental health as one of the biggest threats to our industry, and we want to do everything we can do to highlight the crisis and raise awareness so changes can be made to protect tradespeople and their families.”
“The garden is a hugely creative and innovative way to do this, and on top of that has engaged the next generation of tradesmen and women through Leeds College of Building. A huge thanks to the college and to Jon and Carolyn for helping highlight this issue.”
After the show, the legacy garden will move to Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Wirral, which offers outpatient chemotherapy radiotherapy, diagnostic and cancer support services for local patients.
Hardern and Jarvis, who is also a mental health first aider, are both passionate about promoting mental health and the work of the Band of Builders and mates in Mind. They are asking for people to donate via the project’s GoFundMe page.