It is always very rewarding when somebody embraces learning, completes our courses and then moves into other areas for the benefit of others. Mat Rosendale, WM Brixton Fire Station in South London, has done just that. He has now completed 4 of our Level 2 Distance Learning Courses and has used them, notably the Mental Health Awareness course, to develop a Mindfulness Garden at his workplace, Brixton Fire Station.
Mat is pictured here on the left alongside Simon Jakeman, Green Champion and Union Learning Rep.
Mat commented that "In my capacity as one of London’s first Blue Light Champions I am trying to establish this Mindfulness Garden to raise awareness of mindfulness and the Blue Light Programme. I am also working with the Brigade’s Green Champion Simon Jakeman BEM to make our garden environmentally friendly which will benefit the whole community.
It is intended that todays launch of the UK’s first Blue Light Mindfulness Garden will attract a certain level of media attention which will help to promote the issues surrounding mental health.
I became a Blue Light Champion in 2015 and started studying with the FBU. I completed NVQ courses in Dementia Awareness, Mental Health Awareness , Team Leadership and Understanding Diversity. These courses helped me develop a greater understanding of mental health issues.
The mindfulness garden was conceived on 25th May 2017 and took two months to complete with all four watches joining in.
We were helped by local community groups such as “ Bee Urban “ who provided bee-friendly pollinator flowers. The Brigade’s Green Champion, Simon Jakeman BEM was a great help too.
A Mindfulness Garden is a great way of working together for a common cause."
As Mat has mentioned he has been supported by FBU Learning Rep and Green Champion Simon Jakeman and he states that
"It was fantastic to be able to support and work alongside Mat and his watch to help create the first Mindfulness garden, at Brixton.
As LFB’s Green Champion Coordinator, it was great to collaborate with a Blue Light Champion. The Benefits of green spaces to Health and Wellbeing are becoming increasingly well known. I’m sure the mindfulness garden will provide a space for personnel to reflect, especially after such tragic recent incidents. While also benefitting the local environment by greening an otherwise grey roof terrace. Helping to improve air quality and providing an oasis for biodiversity, including planting for pollinators (Bees and Butterflies).
As a ULR, my studying journey started with an Environmental taster course via the FBU back in 2010. I am pleased to say I have just completed my degree. A BSc(hons) in Environmental Studies via distance learning. This project shows the value of learning and how you can really make a difference."
We are very pleased to report that the Brixton Fire Station Mindfulness Garden was opened on July 26th 2017 and it is testament of Mat and all the Firefighters at Brixton that for the opening of the garden the LFB Commissioner, Dany Cotton, plus her Director of Safety and Assurance Steve Apter and Director of Operations Tom George attended to pledge their support.
Many congratulations Mat, Simon, Brixton Firefighters and all the local community groups involved in this project.