Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown has selected local mental health charity Dorset Mind as its charity partner to support in 2017.

Employees at the Centre aim to raise funds and awareness for the charity by hosting events throughout the year as well as participating in individual charitable challenges.

Simon Hallam, manager of Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown, has already completed the Brighton Marathon in aid of the charity, he said: “We are working hard within the centre to raise not only money for them but also raise awareness of mental health issues across Dorset. I was pleased to be able to dedicate my marathon challenge to Dorset Mind.”

Dorset Mind patron and psychologist at Bournemouth University, Dr Andy Mayers, commented: “We are very excited that Simon and the team at Ferndown Haskins have made us their ‘Charity of the Year’.  One of the biggest challenges for local charities is to secure funding and with Haskins’ dedicated support it will enable us to continue our work across the county.

“One in four people will experience a diagnosable mental health problem at some point in their lifetime.  It’s well known that as a predominately outdoors pastime, one of the benefits of gardening is that it enhances our mental health and wellbeing, so what better companion to raise awareness of mental health – they perfectly complement each other.

He added: “This is also a very important year for us as we plan to grow our support groups and befriending service. Not only this, in November we are celebrating 70 years of helping to support local people with mental health problems.  It’s a great time for Haskins to support us.”

Haskins Garden Centres are located in Ferndown in Dorset, West End in Southampton and Roundstone and Snowhill in West Sussex.

For more information, visit Haskins.co.uk