This project is a collaboration between The Loss Project and Forest Gate Community Garden to support the mental health and wellbeing of residents in Forest Gate.

Take this opportunity to reconnect with your local area one step and one breath at a time…

The project takes two forms:

Loss and grief is a part of life but can be hard. At this time we are not only mourning the loss of loved ones but have also experienced a shift in how we live. This board, designed by local artist Rachel Tripp is for you to take a moment to write, share messages of positivity or encouragement and to find some joy and hope. Because you and how you feel matters.


The garden offers a quiet space for reflection, it was created by the community, for the community and everyone is welcome to come in and enjoy it.


In partnership with students from the mentoring scheme at UEL, we have developed an accessible website for use on your phone or tablet (or a paper sheet you can collect from the garden).

Each walk uses the garden as a starting point to encourage people to explore the nearby green spaces of Wanstead Flats, Manor Park Cemetery, West Ham Park and Forest Lane Park. The walking route guides you to five ‘pause points’ with a mindful activity based around the senses at each and a link to a meditation or short poem. These two interactive elements will encourage you to restore the connection between body and surroundings and promote a sense of wellbeing.


Take a moment, pause and breath. Lift your eyes and take in where you are. Find something that is attractive to you and appreciate its beauty. Or what about lying down or looking up and watching the clouds, their shapes, how fast are they moving in the sky? It’s easy to feel like we’ve lost connection when we have experienced loss. It can be hard to see the wood from the trees. Take some time to appreciate something that’s beautiful in your life this week.


Dr Chatterjee: The power of pain podcast

Griefcast: Funny people talking about death podcast

Stop, pause, take a breath. Close your eyes (if safe to do so), and listen to your surroundings. What can you hear? Can you hear any birds singing? Loss can be really tough and painful, which songs bring you happy memories of something or someone who is no longer present in your life.


Beauty in Nature: Starling murmurations

Songs as memory podcast

Find a flower and take a deep inhale. What does it smell like? What images come to mind? Smell can be a powerful way of evoking vivid and realistic memories. What smells make you feel good?


Soothing ways to use Lavender

Take a sip of water, consider how it feels in your body and mind. It’s fluid nature. Grief and loss are a bit like water. They can take many different shapes and forms, they change and shift over time like water does. Having something to nurture can be really fun and rewarding. Stop by the Forest Gate Community Garden and pick up a yoghurt, pot, a little soil, and some seeds to grow your own at home. What tasty treats could you make with what you’ve grown?


Grow your own herbs

Find a leaf or tree bark. Pick it up and spend some time feeling its outline, its bumps, ridges and grooves. What does it feel like in your hands? Physical touch can help us to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. It’s ok if you’re not feeling ok. Try and think about what the kindest thing you could do for yourself. Send some kindness to the part of you that is hurting. Sometimes it’s enough just to be in touch with how we are feeling right now.


Grief Compass

Give yourself a hug: Guided meditation

We can all feel a bit disconnected, lonely or on our own sometimes. Nature is one way of helping us to feel more connected with ourselves. Make a loop of the garden, walk slowly and take it all in. What do you notice? Find a quiet spot in the garden, pause for a moment and inhale and exhale deeply. Notice how your feet are connected to the ground. Rest your arms gently by your side. Scan your body slowly for areas of tension- areas of unrest or stress. Imagine roots, as if your body is a tree. Imagine roots extending from the soles of your feet reaching deep, deep, down into the ground. You may notice you have very thick roots that firmly pull you down. You may have some thinner roots that spread out to cover more area. Now breathe up through the roots- move your breath from the soles of your feet, up through your calves, and thighs. Feel the breath move through your legs up to the core of your body. Notice the connection your feet have with the earth. Bring your awareness into your breath and the feeling of being connected with the earth, and your roots that connect you to your surroundings.

Connecting with others: Who else is in the garden- could you share a smile or hello?

When you leave the garden, leave a message on the pick me up point blackboard,. You can even take a postcard of encouragement with you to share a pick me up for yourself or for someone you know.


Free monthly sessions

The healing power of human connection

If you have taken part in this project, please email your images or comments to us so we can share them on this page and social media.

In partnership with:

Kindly supported by: