Supporting the wellbeing of local young people

Young people based in Hounslow and aged 16–25 are invited to join The Wild Mind Project, a new programme to support mental health and wellbeing this April.

The Wild Mind Project is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that runs creative and nature-based activities for young people. As we get ready to run our 2022 programme, CEO and Founder Berny Simcox reflects on our previous Wild Mind Project activities for the local LGBTQ+ community.

It was a glorious autumn day as we arrived for our first session at Chiswick House & Gardens. The drive leading to the Learning Centre was lined with golden Lime Trees, with leaves dropping like large snowflakes. 

We set up The Wild Mind Project to support the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people, mainly aged between 16 and 25. Tragically, mental illness in 17–19-year-olds has increased from 10% in 2017, to 17% in 2021. The figures are even more alarming for the young LGBTQ+ community, where 42% are seeking medical help for depression or anxiety. 

There is an ever-growing body of research stating the many benefits of getting outside into nature, for both physical and mental health. The Chiswick House grounds offer a beautiful and peaceful urban escape. The Kitchen Garden served as an amazing location for our LGBTQ+ programmes last October and November. Here’s a flavour of what we got up to:

The young people were inspired by the magnificent insect hotel, and we made our own humble versions from recycled bottles. 


Halloween gave us an excuse to weave spider webs and paint scary stones!  


The young people enjoyed walking around the grounds, identifying some of the magnificent trees and spotting some amazing fungi.

One of our favourite days was spent making winter wreaths. We were in the kitchen garden listening to a fascinating LGBTQ+ History talk by one of the Chiswick House team. 


We will be back this April with another group of young people in need of wellbeing support.

Price: Free

Dates: Sunday 3 April to Sunday 1 May (excluding Easter weekend)

Time: 11am–1pm

Reserve a place

We are very grateful to Co-op and Inspire Hounslow for generously funding these programmes, and to the Centre for Ecotherapy and The Linbury Trust for their support.