Victoria House Community Garden Project

Victoria House Community Garden Project

Gardening project for a residential housing project for couples and single homeless people/rough sleepers

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.

Location

Victoria House - Sanctuary Supported Living

Victoria St, Openshaw, Manchester M11 2LY


Project team

Buzz

Manchester Wellbeing Fund

Sanctuary Supported Living - Victoria House

Aim

Sanctuary Supported Living - Victoria House is a residential housing project for couples and single homeless people/rough sleepers with support needs and has 36 rooms.

The Victoria House Community Garden Project was taken up by some of the male residents with an interest in gardening or simply wanted to engage in physical activity. The group was completely reliant on donations and had limited tools for the project. Some of the participants disclosed that they planted the trees with bricks.

buzz meet with the group to see their vision and hopefully expand their group in order for other residents from Victoria House to get involved with the project as only a small about of residents have been involved. During the meeting it was established that gardening tools, purchase of fruit trees and repairing the damaged polytonal would be needed.

The overall aim of the projects was to expand the existing group and develop an actual gardening project which can be self-sufficient with a lasting legacy where new residents to the scheme can engage in the project and continue to benefit from the Victoria House Community Garden Project.

buzz introduced the group to the Wellbeing Fund and helped them with the expression of interest and ultimately the group was successful in securing funds leading to the group becoming self-sufficient.

Testimony

“We’ve seen tenants who never engaged with other project coming out more and spending time in the garden and interacting with other”.

“It’s been a massive success and some of the guys have throne themselves into the project, they’ve made their own irrigation system in one of the polytonal and made a water feature out of old wooden pallets”

“It’s been brilliant”

Evaluation

The project was successfully funded and all equipment was purchased. Due to this the involvement of the residents of Victoria House significantly increased in both terms of who directly took part in the gardening project and those who enjoyed walking around the garden or simply sitting and viewing it.

Victoria House Community Garden Project provide a safe place for residents to come to, enjoy the claim of the green space and reflect in. This project provides physical activity, wellbeing boost, self-esteem boosts and social elements.

Mike who was the founder of the gardening group has now moved out of the scheme and others have stepped him to insure the continuation of the gardening project at Victoria House and the project is still used by residents of the residents of Victoria House.

Strategic links to local/national policies

Benefit

Policy

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

Contact

Matthew Brown - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Matthew.Brown@gmmh.nhs.uk

T: 0161 271 0564


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