Had a fabulous day volunteering this week with work colleagues at the Walton Lea Project a charity providing supported employment for adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems, mobility issues and early onset Alzheimers.
There is said to be compelling evidence that there are major health benefits to growing your own fruit and vegetables, as it leads to increased fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and outdoor interaction with green space. There are estimated to be over 300,000 allotments and urban gardens in the UK. A 2009 study concluded that growing your own food in urban areas could positively improve psychological and physical health of participants. The study also weighed up the risks of growing food in urban areas but concluded that the benefits outweighed the risks.
We had a great time working outdoors with the beneficiaries and enjoyed a lovely lunch that they prepared supported by a team from ASDA who do a weekly healthy eating session. The sense of achievement was great we worked together as a team to clear a patch of land for planting and everyone we met were lovely and so enthusiastic about the project which was infectious.
We all left smiling and exhausted!
Leake, J.R., Adam-Bradford, a., & Rigby, J.E. (2009) Health benefits of ‘grow your own’ food in urban areas: implications for contaminated land risk assessment and risk management. ‘Environmental Health’.