Can you help finish an Ipswich sanctuary for people with terminal illnesses?

Joanna with her father Rob Brooks

Joanna with her father Rob Brooks - Credit: Joanna Brooks

A small community woodland in Ipswich is seeking help to finish an innovative project creating a free retreat for people living with terminal illnesses.

Brickmakers Wood, just off Back Hamlet, is looking for help to finish the 'The Eden-Rose Centre' project, which is thought to be the first project of its kind in the UK.

The woodland sanctuary

The woodland sanctuary - Credit: Joanna Brooks

The family-run charity is seeking professionals who can help with their ECO garden project. Brickmakers Wood is in desperate need of a digger and driver to help level some of the slopes to install a wheelchair-friendly path. 

The aim is to make the surroundings of The Eden-Rose Centre an accessible place that will distract patients from industrial, clinical and urban scenery and provide a sensory experience. 

Joanna Brooks, charity manager and director of Eden-Rose in the Community Ltd, said that the charity already got lots of help from local professionals.  

“It means so much to both, my father and I, and everyone we support in the charity, that people in Ipswich go out of their way to help, especially while everyone is struggling with the rising cost of living themselves.” 

The woodland sanctuary

The woodland sanctuary - Credit: Joanna Brooks

The Eden-Rose Centre is a highly ecological, sustainable 12-sided collaborative venue and wellness space. It offers a free, healthy environment for alternative therapies for people with physical and mental health challenges, such as yoga, reiki, mindfulness and mentoring. 

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The building and surrounding gardens can be used by the local community and businesses.  

Charity founder Rob Brooks, following the death of his wife and the progression of cancer himself, developed the concept of using a natural woodland as a support network for the cancer community. 

His charity was formed in 1997 and has been managed by his daughter, Joanna. 

Ms Brooks added: “As a family charity, we have always been passionate about horticulture and being immersed in nature. We offer the opportunity to spend time in a highly beneficial environment that stimulates the senses, creates a connection with nature and encourages the development of creative abilities that may have been previously undiscovered.” 

The charity is constantly looking for people to help with jobs within the community woodland. Tasks range from light litter picking, propagating and planting to digging holes, fixing fence lines and building planters.  

Brickmakers Wood currently holds volunteer days on the first Saturday of every month and every Thursday morning. 

Anybody who can offer help can message Joanna at jo@withnature.org