Sowing the Seeds of Wellbeing Conference
April 6th – 1pm – 4:30pm
The Sowing Seeds of Wellbeing Conference 2022 will explore the impact of community gardening on mental health and wellbeing. This online event, hosted by local Charity Trust Links in partnership with The University of Essex, will present research findings on the impact of attending a Growing Together project.
The online conference aims to bring together key stakeholders including service providers and users, NHS and social prescribing professionals, government representatives and academics to discuss the ongoing work around community gardening and green social prescribing. The event will involve presentations from a range of speakers including GPs and workshops focused on facilitating uptake, upscaling, and referral to community gardening projects to further support provision of these types of services.
This will be Trust Links’ second annual online conference, with last year’s welcoming over 100 individuals interested in healthcare and horticulture, who came together to discuss research and best practice at a time when in-person events were restricted due to the national lockdown.
The Sowing Seeds of Wellbeing Conference will be held online, and it is free to attend. Those who register will also receive a conference pack prior to the conference. Please book by 25 March 2022 to receive your delegate pack by post. Electronic packs will be sent after this date.
Why Community Gardening?
Although spending time in nature is one of the most traditionally and anecdotally referred to ways of improving wellbeing, community gardening (also known as therapeutic horticulture) is still finding its place as an established therapy in modern-day health care.
However, there is a growing field of research which suggests that there is a tangible benefit to taking part in community gardening projects such as Trust Links’ Growing Together on an individual’s mental health and wellbeing. GPs and other healthcare professionals are beginning to signpost patients to nature-based projects, known as ‘green-social prescribing’.
Community therapeutic gardening enables individuals to practice all of the New Economic Foundation’s “Five Ways to Wellbeing” as people can ‘Connect’, ‘Take Notice’, ‘Keep Learning’, ‘Be Active’ and ‘Give’ in plenty of different ways whilst spending time in the garden. Nurturing plants, eating fresh produce, developing new skills, evoking positive memories, forming social connections, and stress reduction from time spent in the natural environment are among the multitude of additional benefits community gardening can bring.
Trust Links CEO Matt King explains that “as people regenerate the gardens, they also regenerate their own lives.”
Let’s Grow Together
The past two years have been a challenging time for local independent charities. However, we are continuing with our mission to transform lives in the community through a range of projects such as recovery workshops, befriending and youth groups. We are also supporting individuals and groups who are interested in setting up a Growing Together garden in our new scheme Let’s Grow Together.