Debdale Diggers

Debdale Diggers are a friendly group of local residents who maintain the flower beds in Debdale Park, Gorton.


The aim was to support the resident’s gardening group to help them acquire new equipment so that additional volunteers could help them during the pandemic. The hope was that this would both benefit the wellbeing of the participants, and also help maintain the local green space for the benefit of everyone in the community.

This would also help to create opportunities for local residents affected by isolation to take part in a friendly community activity involving gentle exercise.



Benefits of Gardening

Exposure to green space can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that gardening can reduce depression and anxiety and local green space has been linked to improved mental health and wellbeing. For older people, gardening can be a useful source of physical activity, while supporting independence and reducing loneliness. Living in areas with green spaces is associated with less income-related health inequality, weakening the effect of deprivation on health. Urban green spaces can contribute to social cohesion but the quality and maintenance of green spaces is important to make them appealing.


We were able to support the group financially to purchase additional equipment to enable more people to volunteer whilst following COVID-19 guidelines.

buzz Neighbourhood Health Worker Noah also worked with the group to develop a new Debdale Diggers Facebook page to help promote the group, and make local residents aware that they could get involved. Noah has also been helping the group to make links with other gardening groups in the area to develop support network between the groups.

Project Team

Debdale Bowling and Social Club

buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Strategic links to local/national policies



Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Supports older people

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Reduces income-related health inequalities

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Improves local area

Our Manchester Strategy

Increased social cohesion

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Can be used for social prescribing

General Practice Forward View (NHS England, 2016)

Research/evidence base

Public Health England (2020) Improving Access to Greenspace: A new review for 2020

Houlden et al (2018) The relationship between greenspace and the mental wellbeing of adults: A systematic review PLoS One, 13 (9)

The King’s Fund (2016) Gardens and Health: Implications for policy and practice

World Health Organization (2016) Urban Green Spaces and Health: A review of evidence

Schmutz et al, Garden Organic and Sustain (2014) The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing


Noah Mellor - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Tel. 0161 271 0501

Mob. 07484 546326

If you found this page helpful, maybe someone else will too?

"PARS is an excellent place to refer to. They are flexible and have many ways to help people with varying degrees of abilities."

Helen, Information, Advice and Support Coordinator, Stroke Association

Helen, Information, Advice and Support Coordinator, Stroke Association photo