Mayoral couple get help to open £150,000 wellbeing garden

Rochdale’s Mayor and Mayoress opened the Cherwell Wellbeing Garden and Farm in Heywood last week, with a little surprise help from Mark Tomkins. Mark, who attends the Social Lounge Day Centre at PossAbilities Cherwell Wellbeing Hub, jumped in to lend the Mayoress a helping hand and make sure she knew how to cut the ribbon.


The Cherwell Wellbeing Garden & Farm, is the result of a £150,000 investment from Viridor Credits, ASDA First Steps Programme, Adactus and local social enterprise, PossAbilities.


Sitting on almost an acre of land, the new development comprises and outdoor kitchen and eating area; a performance space; dipping pond; sensory garden; mud kitchen; growing zone; bee hotel and wildlife corridors.


Chief Executive, Rachel Law said “This is a magnificent space, not just for the people with learning disabilities that we support, but for the whole community. We want people to come in, so we are encouraging schools, groups, mums, dads, grandmas’ and grandads’ to get in touch or just come along. As well as all the different spaces, we’ve got pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits, tanukis, birds and reptiles. Soon we will have lots of bees, frogs and wild hedgehogs”.


Mayor of Rochdale, Ray Dutton said “Two years ago the Council worked hand in hand with the PossAbilities management team, to enable them to create a Community Interest Company. Nobody really knew for sure how things would work out. As we stand here today in front of a magnificent new asset for the whole community, I think it would be fair to say, that things are working out in a pretty spectacular way.


The conversion of one acre of overgrown land into this amazing space is a win for the council, a win for PossAbilities and a win for the whole community”.


The garden will need lots of looking after, so if you would like to volunteer a few hours a week then please contact