Boost social contact
Getting an allotment, volunteering at a community garden
WHY Alan Hulme likes to ‘mix it up’ at his community garden Urban Organic in Blackpool. Local residents work alongside schoolchildren, as well as visually impaired and socially isolated people. “The garden is the focus,” he says, “but the secret ingredients are tea, cake and bringing people together.” Gardening with other people is immensely powerful. Community gardening embraces those who can feel socially excluded, like the elderly, ex-offenders and refugees, combating loneliness and increasing mental well-being.
DID YOU KNOW? Socially isolated and lonely individuals have a much higher risk of premature death than people with social contacts.