Boost so­cial con­tact

Gardeners' World - - Garden More & Feel Better -

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.

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