Tuesday 12 April 2016
Nationwide activities to launch RHS Britain in Bloom 2016 campaign
Volunteers from Pelton Lane Ends Residents Association in Chester-le-Street
Community gardening projects that will see fire-fighters in Cornwall using gardening to help dementia patients integrate into the community, and a London initiative designed to tackle social isolation by bringing the elderly and cub scouts together, are among 40 projects that will receive support from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as part of the charity’s 2016 Britain in Bloom campaign.
Under the banner of Greening Grey Britain for Health and Happiness, Britain in Bloom 2016 will see community groups receive up to £500 worth of gardening materials from the RHS to help develop projects to improve community cohesion, tackle social isolation, promote healthy lifestyles and increase wellbeing.
RHS advisors will be on-hand throughout the development of the projects, which will be completed by September 2016, to provide the groups with expert gardening advice, tips insights and advice in order to ensure that they make as big an impact as possible on the local community.
Other projects receiving RHS support include:
• A Norwich group creating an international aromatic garden in a previously inaccessible area of the city in order to promote relaxation
• An East Anglian group that supports young people with mental health and learning difficulties plans to tackle social isolation by bringing normally disparate groups together to grow organic food for the whole community
• A London primary school plans to create a rooftop fruit, vegetable and herb garden for children and parents who do not have access to a garden
• In the North East a newly erected concrete railway bridge will be ‘greened’ with plants to create a garden bridge to rival the one proposed for London
• In Bristol the front of a Sikh temple and adjoining wasteland, that has been a magnet for fly-tippers, will be transformed in order to bring cultures together and increase civic pride.
The Greening Grey Britain for Health and Happiness theme of the 2016 Britain in Bloom campaign was chosen in recognition of the increasing body of evidence that shows that gardens and green spaces have a tremendously positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Both the physical activity of gardening and the use of green spaces for mental relaxation and stimulation have been shown to provide a range of positive health benefits.
All of the 40 groups have shown that their projects can use gardening as a tool to, among other things, reduce isolation, encourage outdoor exercise, reconnect people with healthy seasonal food, promote improved mental health and aide relaxation.
RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said: “Gardening and being in and around green spaces can provide a range of health benefits, from increased exercise, stress reduction and increased social cohesion that creates a sense of belonging.
“There are very few activities that tick so many health and wellbeing boxes for both individuals and communities, and that’s why these projects are so important, and why the RHS is delighted to be able to support them.”
For more information please contact Siobhán MacMahon in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Full list of RHS Health and Happiness projects
About RHS Britain in Bloom
RHS Britain in Bloom is the UK’s largest community gardening campaign, involving up to 300,000 volunteers. As part of RHS Britain in Bloom, volunteers in cities, towns, villages, urban communities and neighbourhoods work together to improve their environment, using gardening as a tool. RHS Britain in Bloom also includes grassroots community gardening scheme RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood which supports community groups in greening and cleaning their immediate local environment - whether that’s the street they live in, or a small patch of communal land needing a revamp.
To find out more, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/communities
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.
The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262