Philips Park OrchardSupport with the continuation of the orchard for local residents.
Benefit 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.
Philips Park Orchard
Stuart Street, Manchester
Manchester Wellbeing Fund
The Philips Park Orchard has been established for 30 years and was previously well attended by local residents. Unfortunately, the founder cannot continue to run the orchard and it was in real danger of running down, becoming obsolete and closing down.
I approached a local active citizen Dennis who runs the 4CT Gardening project and he expressed an interest in taking over the project and saving it from permanent closure. Dennis vision was that this new plot could provide more opportunities for a variety of gardening activity and work for more volunteers. But to achieve this goal Dennis would require funds.
I helped Dennis complete a Wellbeing funding application and he was successfully awarded £3000.
Now the Philips Park Orchard is a gardening project which aims to support mental wellbeing in the community of Ancoats, Bradford and Clayton by offering a social proscribing scheme where participants will learn how to grow vegetables from seeds and will learn how they can be harvested and cooked into seasonal menus.
It has been good to have a space to come to during the lockdown. I have learnt more about growing seeds, certainly my tomatoes which are a triumph. I also built my own shed out of spare wood which was laying around the orchard. I’m looking forwards to learn how to plan the planting better and feel like more part of a team. But teamwork doesn't come naturally to me but I see the benefits of having new friends too.
The project is still in its early days but has already had a positive impact on a few local residents who have helped with renovation of the site. The project will soon open the social prescribing element which Dennis will oversee two sessions a week for groups or up to 3-4 people who don't require heavy supervision and referrals will come from the local care navigator.
We are expecting this project will have a legacy due to the social prescribing element and the increasing numbers of volunteers.
Strategic links to local/national policies
Increased mental wellbeing
Supports older people
Reduces income-related health inequalities
Improves local area
Increased social cohesion
Can be used for social prescribing
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
Matthew Brown - Neighbourhood Health Worker
T: 0161 271 0564
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