Forty Hall Community Vineyard in the running for of London Growing Localities Award

Sarah Vaughan-Roberts, Mark Mendes and Irina Ponizova with other volunteers

Sarah Vaughan-Roberts, Mark Mendes and Irina Ponizova with other volunteers

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Volunteers hoping to create their first batch of organic wine this autumn are in the running for an award.

More than 160 adults and young people with mental health problems have helped sow, prune, and care for the grapes growing in Forty Hall Community Vineyard in Forty Hill over the past two years.

The project, which aims to improve their mental and physical health as well as build skills and relationships through working in the great outdoors, is one of nine schemes to be shortlisted for the City of London Growing Localities Award.

The winner, which is due to be announced on April 11, is set to receive a £1,000 prize.

Sarah Vaughan-Roberts, project manager at Forty Hall Community Vineyard, said she is “delighted” the project has been shortlisted, and said winning would be “very nice recognition” of everyone’s efforts.  

Volunteers tend to vines as well as get involved in willow weaving, bee-keeping and horticultural therapy sessions. 

The land is lent to the community project by Capel Manor College in Bullsmoor, and supported by mental health charity Mind because of the positive impact green therapies can have on people with mental health problems.

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