Health and Well-being
We believe that community gardening is good for the body, mind and soul
Why Grow Well?
Developed in 2016 in partnership with the Cardiff South West Primary Care Cluster, our pioneering social prescribing project works with local healthcare professionals to engage people with health issues to recover and thrive through therapeutic community growing.
Watch this short film where our staff explain what the project is all about and volunteers share, in their own words, the difference it makes in their lives.
“The garden has made me feel life again, I feel like me again”
(Grow Well participant)
About Grow Well
The project serves the communities of South West Cardiff (Ely, Caerau, Canton & Riverside) and has three sites: the Dusty Forge Community Centre, Lansdowne Surgery & Riverside Health Centre – the idea being that anyone can pop out of their front door and be in their local garden within 15 minutes. Sessions run every week, right throughout the year.
Using an ‘asset based’ approach – everyone has a gift, skill or experience to share – the project positively engages some of the most isolated and hardest to reach members of the community. It aims to improve health and well-being of those affected by mental health, physical health, loneliness and isolation, working alongside patients as volunteers to co-design, co-produce and sustain thriving community gardens.
It’s really important to know that most people who come to the project have never gardened before and certainly don’t think of themselves as gardeners. Come along to a weekly session and you are always greeted with a big smile, a good cuppa and a broad choice of activities: sowing, planting and harvesting vegetables, fruit and herbs, arts and crafts for the garden, carpentry and building, composting, mulching, developing wildlife habitats, a pond, soup making with veg straight from the garden, simply sitting and listening to the birds, but always banter and friendship.
How do we know Grow Well works?
It is easy to claim that something can help a person’s health and well-being, but how do we know Grow Well really makes a difference? We work very closely with the Wales School of Social Prescribing Research to evaluate the project. Through every session and right through the year, we listen to our participants, lead volunteers, staff, GPs and partners, co-producing and developing the project so that local people taking part in the project are always right at the heart of what we do and how we do it.
“I have seen the benefits of the project in supporting patients who are suffering with social isolation and other psychosocial problems. I have seen patients who have struggled for many years, thrive in the supportive environment of the Grow Well garden” (Dr Karen Pardy, GP in the Cardiff SW Primary Care Cluster)
Want to know more?
If you live in the south west Cardiff area and would like to know more about how you, a family member or friend can take part in Grow Well. If you are a professional supporting someone who lives in south-west Cardiff and would like to refer them to Grow Well, please get in touch