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RHS’ garden fund to help grow healthier communities

More communities than ever before are using gardening to promote good health and wellbeing, according to the RHS’ Greening Great Britain funding programme, supported by M&G Investments.
Two thirds (66%) of the 56 projects that will receive £500 funding and practical support this summer have made health and wellbeing their top priority. These will see intergenerational groups turn neglected corners into blossoming green spaces. These spaces encourage and support social interaction, complement local social prescribing schemes or promote healthy eating.
The Greening Great Britain programme is now in its fourth year. It encourages communities to come together to transform unused or unloved sites into vibrant spaces bursting with plants.
Community projects supported in 2019 include:
  • The expansion of a community garden at Owd’ Martha’s Yard in Barnsley. This will give people referred via the area’s social prescribing scheme the chance to socialise, get active and grow herbs such as liquorice, mint and jasmine for making tea.
  • The creation of a productive community allotment next to Blaydon Trinity Methodist Church in Gateshead. Which is used weekly as a foodbank distribution centre. Vegetables, herbs and salad crops will be grown to supplement packages for clients.
  • A new meditation garden on campus at the University of Surrey, Guildford,to provide a tranquil space for students. With sensory planting to support mindfulness and a ‘barefoot’ reflexology path. The space will also be used for group meditation sessions.
Liz Stewart, RHS Community Outreach Manager, said:
“This year’s projects reflect a growing recognition of gardening’s power to transform people’s lives as well as places. We’re seeing more communities tap into this to reap the benefits – whether it’s simply encouraging people to get outside to unwind and relax right through to helping people cope with more serious health issues such as depression and dementia.”
Mike Evans, Chair of M&GPrudential, said:
“At M&G we know – from our work helping housing associations and developers to create better homes and communities – how important green space is to the quality of all our lives. The RHS’s Greening Great Britain scheme is a fantastic way for local people to join in with transforming and revitalising their communities and we are proud to be supporting it.”
Projects are now underway with transformations due for completion by early autumn.
To find out more about the campaign click here.
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