A new report published by the King’s Fund health thinktank is urging doctors and the NHS to prescribe gardening far more often for patients with cancer, dementia and mental health problems.
Spending time in outdoor spaces, including gardens, can reduce social isolation among older people and help alleviate the symptoms of numerous health conditions.
Keeping active is essential for both physical and mental health, and gardening is a pleasurable way to get us moving and improve our overall well being.
‘It is an area that is attracting increasing interest both inside and outside the NHS. Well-known and highly successful organisations such as the Bromley by Bow Centre in London are largely built on the notion of social prescribing, including a gardening offer’.
As well as contributing to the improvement of individual patients, gardening as part of a local volunteer group brings people of all ages together and strengthens community spirit.
Sustainable Merton fully support this approach to improving the health of residents within Merton, and can offer many opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to become involved with community gardening projects. You will meet new friends, learn new skills and enjoy the many health benefits of taking part.
Gardens and health Implications for policy and practice by David Buck, The King’s Fund