The 2019 Gardens and Health campaign A Path to Health – which champions the health benefits of gardens and which launched this weekend – will be taking place all of this week.
The National Garden Scheme (NGS) does more than open exceptional gardens to raise millions for nursing and health-related charities; it also champions the health benefits of gardens and funds garden and health-related projects that are supporting thousands of vulnerable people across the country.
“Championing the health benefits of gardens has been at the heart of our ethos since 1927,” explains National Garden Scheme CEO, George Plumptre as he formally launched this year’s annual Gardens and Health campaign on Saturday.
“From the beneficiaries receiving funding from us – such as the eleven Horatio’s Gardens at NHS Spinal Injury Centres across the country and the new Outdoor Learning Centre at Treloar’s School and College for severely disabled children and young people – to the garden owners who have found solace in the creation and sharing of their gardens, and the garden visitors who derive such pleasure from being in beautiful gardens, there can be little doubt that gardens and gardening create an important path to improved health and wellbeing” he said.
Gardening is now recognised as one of the important elements of social prescribing; an important component of the NHS comprehensive model of personalised care that aims to link an individual with an activity to improve their health and mental wellbeing. According to NHS England, 2.5 million people will benefit from social prescribing by 2024.
Examples of social prescribing in action can be found at The Growth Project in Rochdale and The Therapy Garden in Surrey, both of which open their exceptional green spaces for the National Garden Scheme.
Backing up this commitment, the National Garden Scheme is sponsoring an award at the first Social Prescribing Awards – a new initiative from the Social Prescribing Network, the College of Medicine and the University of Westminster. The winners will be celebrated during the International Social Prescribing Network Conference being held at the University of Westminster on July 11th and 12th 2019.
Hospice UK is one of the NGS’s beneficiary charities. Each day this week it will be featuring video footage that highlights the positive impact of gardens on patients from two member hospices – Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and St Barnabas House hospice for adults, both located in West Sussex.
Highlights from the footage include following 18-year-old patient Olivia, supported by Chestnut Tree House, as she does a woodland walk through the hospice’s grounds and Tania who talks about how the gardens at St Barnabas House help ease the anxiety she sometimes experiences.
This year for the first time St Barnabas House will open its gardens up in June in support of the NGS.
Hospice UK’s footage of the benefits of gardens on hospice patient will be available here on its YouTube channel.
For more information about Gardens and Health Week 2019 visit the National Garden Scheme website.