Windowsill to Wok – Ardwick & Longsight

Windowsill to Wok – Ardwick & Longsight

Citywide project to grow your own stir-fry vegetables, co-created with Manchester Urban Diggers.

Aim

To improve resident’s wellbeing by engaging them with nature and food growing, growing ingredients to make healthy meals.

Location

Ardwick & Longsight

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.

Benefits of Wellbeing Bags

Staying connected has a strong positive impact on physical and mental health and personal resilience. Social distancing restrictions have made staying connected difficult, particularly for those who do have the technology to connect virtually. buzz has found innovative ways to address this. Distributing wellbeing bags, kits and packs helps people who may not be able to stay connected through technology feel connected with their community. The bags remind people that social support is available and gives them a sense of belonging, both of which have been shown to improve wellbeing and resilience. Receiving functional social support i.e. the bags, has also been shown to have emotional value and be interpreted as emotional support.

Benefits of learning new skills

Keep learning is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, five evidence-based actions which can improve personal wellbeing. Adults engaged in lifelong learning are more likely to be healthier, have better mental health and be more social connected. They are also more likely to participate in the community and decisions concerning the community. Learning new skills increases individuals’ employability, supporting the economic growth of the community. Adults involved in learning are more likely to be involved in their children’s education, helping them learn and raise attainment.

Testimonies

"I planted some of it and it was nice until it started to rain outside. I will try again this week. It's a fun dedicated process, and will keep my hopes up.”

"They’re growing into very lovely, big plants now. Thanks a lot."

Evaluation

The packs were very well received. This project enabled residents to try something new, with clear instructions on how to garden, and recipe suggestions for after. The experience and activity had a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.

One resident took their seedlings to plant in a community allotment space nearby, others used their windowsill at home. Another resident shared the experience with his grandkids, helping to build connection.

The packs were distributed by connecting with local housing schemes, community groups, and local social prescribers. When residents were identified and received the packs, Nico followed up a few months later to get their feedback.

The legacy of this project is that residents were able to discuss their gardening successes with each other, and have expressed an interest in engaging with other green activities locally.

Project Team

buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Manchester Urban Diggers

Local group partners

Residents

Strategic links to local/national policies (Gardening)

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


Strategic links to local/national policies (Wellbeing Packs)

Benefit

Policy

Social inclusion

Manchester Population Health Plan

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

Enabling resilient communities

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Addressing health inequalities

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

Research/evidence base

Ambition for Ageing. (2020). Developing social contact models in a time of social distancing: A Response to COVID-19

Centre for Ageing Better. (2020). Gilli's voice - Moments of Joy

Harandi, T. F., Taghinasab, M. M., & Nayeri, T. D. (2017). The correlation of social support with mental health: A meta-analysis. Electronic physician, 9(9), 5212–5222.

Ministry of Social Development (2018) - The measurement of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing

Seifert, A., Cotton, S. R., Xie, B. (2020). A Double Burden of Exclusion? Digital and Social Exclusion of Older Adults in Times of COVID-19, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbaa098.

Semmer, N.K., Elfering, A., Jacobshagen, N., Perrot, T., Beehr, T.A. and Boos, N., 2008. The emotional meaning of instrumental social support. International journal of stress management, 15(3), p.235.

Strategic links to local/national policies (Learning new skills)

Benefit

Policy

Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increasing community involvement

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Manchester Prevention Programme

Socially connected communities

Manchester Population Health Plan

Employability

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

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

Our Manchester Strategy

Giving children the best start in life

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

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy







Research/evidence base

Duckworth, K. and Cara, O. (2012) The Relationship between Adult Learning and Wellbeing:

Evidence from the 1958 National Child Development Study.

Feinstein, L., Budge, D., Vorhaus, J. and Duckworth, K. (2008). The social and personal benefits

of learning: A summary of key research findings

Foresight, Government Office for Science (2017) - What are the wider benefits of learning across the life course?

New Economics Foundation (2008) – Five ways to wellbeing

NIACE (2011) - Social value of adult learning for community empowerment.


Contact

Chris Doyle - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Chris.doyle@gmmh.nhs.uk


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