‘What life have you if you have not life together? There is not life that is not life in community’ TS Eliot
When life was simpler and less pressurised people had a sense of being part of a community, a group of people who looked out for each other, and who worked together. They had a sense of belonging and a sense of co-operative working, of collective living.
In the modern world this sense of community has often broken down, leaving people isolated and lonely. This is why ‘Care in the Community’ doesn’t always work – often there is no community any more.
The most important aspect of Chestnut Nursery is that it offers people a community again. Within a supportive family atmosphere people can learn to care for each other and look after each other. Together they can be strong.
This is why we believe there should be a project like Chestnut Nursery in every area.
“Chestnut is better than medication”
“Socialising with others helps my confidence”
Spreading public awareness
Far too often the mentally ill become excluded by society, the neglected, forgotten and dispossessed. Very sadly some elements of the media have fostered a negative image of mental illness, encouraging fear and misunderstanding. In fact it is very unusual for people with mental illness to harm others, they are many times more likely to harm themselves.
A vital part of the nurseries work is to increase public understanding of mental illness, and to counter the widespread stigma and discrimination still suffered by many people with mental health issues. Nothing does this better than visiting the nursery and experiencing the happy loving atmosphere, and discovering that it is impossible to tell who is ill and who is not.
It is therefore essential for Chestnut to maintain a high profile in the local community and with the local media. Talks are given to local groups and organisations, who are also invited to visit the nursery.