Building Connections - A Case Study in Community

25 April 2020

The Abbey Physic Community Garden has been working in partnership with housing agency Optivo, who wanted to find a place where their residents could contribute and a community they could feel a part of. The success of this partnership has been such that Optivo decided to use the Physic Garden as a case study, to publicise the work they do with and for their clients.

Members of the garden will all be familiar with brothers David and Terry, who are regularly to be found helping out in the Men's Shed or elsewhere around the garden, or else sharing a cup of tea and a chat with their fellow members. We are very proud of the fact that the presence of the garden and the activities which take place here are so naturally conducive to reducing the isolation, and improving the sense of wellbeing, of our members, and we are pleased to be able to share Optivo's case study, featuring our friends, David and Terry.


Background, Social Impact

Wendy Leak of Optivo’s Health and Wellbeing Service is working in partnership with Abbey Physic Community Garden (APCG) Faversham.

Brothers Dave & Terry Jefferies never left the house. They were extremely isolated from the community and did not engage with anyone, other than each other. They had no outside interests, no confidence and sat in the house every day feeling very isolated watching TV.


Our residents Dave & Terry have been members of the Abbey Physic Community Garden engaging in all activities and making friends. It helped to build social and confidence skills.

APCG is a great place to go to as they can take part in a variety of activities; learnt to grow vegetables from seeds, cook with fresh produce, as well as be creative with arts and crafts and wildlife projects.

Dave and Terry are members of the Abbey Physic Community Garden and both became involved in the Faversham Men’s Shed activities which is part of The Garden. They have learned various new skills about carpentry and can use the correct tools to make wooden bird and bee boxes. They also worked as part of the team and made a beehive for The Garden.

Both have gained confidence achieving a Horticulture City & Guilds qualification at APCG. This was a huge achievement, encouraging them to come out of their comfort zone Dave & Terry quoted:

“We feel we have a purpose in life now. We are part of the community and less isolated”.

“We have made new friends, engage with people daily”.

“It’s a great place to be, sharing life experiences and having the resources and support”.