Who are we supporting?

We’re supporting Grow Cardiff with grant funding of £11,340. This not for profit initiative supports local people to co-produce and engage in community growing in gardens across the city; supporting their health and wellbeing.

What’s the idea?

Grow Cardiff’s new project builds on the existing community garden model. It will give GPs the ability to prescribe social and low-level physical activity at gardens based at local community hubs in the Cardiff South West GP Cluster, or at GP surgeries themselves.

The service will allow GPs to identify patients who might benefit from preventative health interventions or social activity, giving them the opportunity to refer these patients to a community garden, where the patient would take part in weekly activities, while also receiving targeted work on nutrition.

The project will focus on patients registered at surgeries in Canton and Ely, building on the programme’s existing pilot at Lansdowne Surgery, Canton.

Why is this important?

More than half of adults in Wales are overweight or obese, according to the latest Welsh Health Survey, with physical inactivity costing the government around £650 million per year. For these adults, the chances of developing a serious health condition are increased.

According to the mental health charity Mind, people with mental health conditions are more likely to be less physically active; a trend echoed for people with disabilities. Yet, for both groups, there are significant barriers to accessing social activities. Community gardens have been shown to improve the health and wellbeing of participants, as well as creating new social connections for people.

Grow Cardiff believes that, through social prescribing, the project can combine the benefits of low-level physical activity, with reconnecting people with their food via community growing.

How are they hoping to save money and improve services?

The NHS in Wales is facing significant challenges to meet the needs of the growing population and, as such, the preventative health agenda has never been more pressing.

While the project will not create savings for Grow Cardiff, the programme anticipates that it will create savings for the partner organisation, the Cardiff South West (SW) GP Cluster.

For each person that is prescribed garden activity, Grow Cardiff expects annual savings to statutory services of £212 a year, based on Welsh Government figures. Additional research will be carried out to see if there could be further cost savings. The organisation will find out whether individual GP visits reduce as a result of their engagement in the project, and whether patients are prescribed less medicine or referred to fewer other primary care services as a result of participation in the project.