Evidence - the health and wellbeing benefits of food growing
The health, wellbeing and social benefits of gardening, horticulture therapy and food growing are becoming better established and documented and there are many examples across the UK, of growing initiatives that are used by different groups to provide opportunities for exercise, to address physical and mental problems, to encourage social interaction and to develop skills, while also providing access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables.
Growing Health has been pulling together different types of evidence that can be used either as a starting point to open discussion with health contacts or to back up your service. We have produced:
- Beacon reports – in depth case studies with key success factors.
- Case studies that give examples of how projects are working with health services.
- An overview of the evidence that exists to show the health benefits of food growing.
- Factsheets covering key health areas.
- Product Sheets, examples of summary info on products and services offered
- A leaflet to use with CCGS or public health which outlines the benefits
- Growing Health posters presented in 2015
These are a series of short briefings of the benefits for particular health areas.
These are examples of services that can be offered providing an overview of the product, identify the client group, outcomes and the evidence. Use these examples and adapt them to your local needs.
The Natural Health Service in Halton, Merseyside, provides a single contact point to well-developed services in the natural environment, proven to tackle a range of health and wellbeing issues. It offers a range of services taking advantage of the area's wealth of green spaces and natural places. It developed this series of product sheets to provide an overview of the products offered including; an overview of the product; identifying the client group and outcomes from delivery, the evidence base and links to case studies. They are updatable and adaptable to local circumstances and developing evidence. Product Sheets are provided for:
- Horticultural Therapy
- Walking for Health
- Cycling for Health
- Forest School
- Green Gym.
The Brighton and Hove Food Partnership have developed two very useful visual guides:
- Gardeners Referrers Guide – summarises who it’s for and how they will benefit and referral guidelines
- Gardening for Health and Wellbeing - case study and local benefits
Kings Fund Bringing together housing and public health; enabling better health and wellbeing 21st Oct, Gardens for Life – using community based food growing in Tower Hamlets to deliver public health outcomes
Growing Health: Growing Health is a national project run by Garden Organic and Sustain, which is funded by the Tudor Trust, to see how community food growing can be routinely used by the health and social care services as a way of promoting health and wellbeing for a range of individuals and population groups.
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You can get involved
We are keen to hear from anyone interested in or running a project that links community food growing with health and wellbeing or looking to develop this area.
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