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Exploring the possibilities of social prescribing at Global Gardens…

Social prescribing is a relatively new concept centred around holistic healthcare. It acts as a means of enabling healthcare professionals to refer patients to range of community non-clinical initiatives such as gardening, crafting and the arts. This concept has wide reaching aims with the ability to improve social interaction, loneliness, and community engagement.

Ella and I are medical students who have seen first-hand the importance of social prescribing and the positive impact it can have on the lives of patients. We are also Lead Student Volunteers here at Global Gardens, so we decided to put these two passions together and create a social prescribing project within our amazing community garden.

Via the Renew Wales programme, we have had support from the Grow Well Project in Canton, a wonderful example of social prescribing in action where patients have been involved in creating raised vegetable beds, hanging baskets and bug houses.

The new Whitchurch Road Surgery is currently being built within the allotment grounds, therefore being in the perfect position for partnership with our garden space. The plan within the next few months is to form a group of likeminded healthcare professionals with an interest in gardening to be involved with the running of our new sessions. Our aim is to receive referrals from the surgery for patients who would benefit from involvement in a community project.

Our sessions at the gardens will be a way for patients to access a calm, green space. An opportunity to be involved in whatever they feel suits them best: a chance to socialise and work as part of team or quiet time to sit and absorb the tranquillity of our space. They will be supported by a qualified occupational therapist as well.

We believe the benefits of this project will help support people to engage with green space, feel a sense of community and socialise with others. We are hoping the project will start to grow and contribute to the changing picture of healthcare.

by Cara Bennett



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