A WESTCLIFF mental health charity has transformed a neglected outdoor space into a beautiful garden, thanks to funding from a supermarket giant.

Trust Links were awarded £10,000 through Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, which was used to redevelop the neglected vegetable patch at its community garden.

The therapeutic garden will be used as a place to grow fruit and veg, as a flower garden as well and as a place for meetings, social activities and counselling sessions for people living with mental illnesses and learning disabilities.

It was developed as part of the charity’s Growing Together project.

The garden is also now welcoming it’s newest members - chickens.

Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme uses cash raised by the sale of carrier bags to find projects across local communities.

Matt King, chief executive of Trust Links, said: “The funding from Tesco allowed us to develop our vegetable garden at Growing Together Westcliff in a way that will meet the psychological, social and physical needs of our members.

“For our members, the garden is so much more than just a place to do therapeutic gardening. Members can also enjoy yoga, creative writing, vocational training and access employment support at the project, and we’ve seen it have a hugely positive impact on their wellbeing.

“Thanks to the funding from Tesco, our services are now accessible to even more people, with around 200 people benefitting from our facilities each year. We’re very thankful, and we urge other charities and community groups in the area to apply for the funding.”

Keith Jackson, Tesco’s Bags of Help manager added: “It’s wonderful to see this project come to life, showing first-hand how a Bags of Help grant can have a positive impact on local communities.

"There has been great enthusiasm for the initiative from both Tesco colleagues and our customers. Investing in the communities we serve is a key focus for our business and we look forward to supporting even more groups across Britain.”