Much of the feedback from our annual stakeholder meeting in our Welcome Woodland Garden in April was about people wanting to connect with each other at community events like ours. Sharing real food, friendly company, in beautiful, welcoming outdoor spaces. It's a real human need and it can include all ages and people from all walks of life. We held another such event last week at the May Close Community Allotment, with our partners We Are FoodPioneers. Our very mixed allotment group joined up with local residents, people from our other gardening groups and courses, a few local councillors, carers, volunteers and supporters for a scrumptious BBQ and a couple of hours of companionship and warmth. It's simple, it's needed, and it makes everyone feel good. We will be doing more of this - watch this (breathing) space.
Who knew that AXA Insurance have a Stress Index! It says that 41% of people who do gardening for only 2 hours a week report that it improved their physical health, making it one of the best ways to deal with stress. So it's important to get those therapeutic effects all year round. We find lots to do in our Community Garden Clubs for people with dementia during bad weather, sowing and growing plants inside the cosy yurt or garden shed, and even the snow didn't stop us! Now spring is here we will be outdoors whenever we can, but with shelter as back-up whenever it's needed.
Three different strands of happiness complement each other to create lasting joy: pleasure, purpose and pride, especially when people feel secure and minimise stress. These are the recent findings reported in National Geographic Nov 2017 about the world's happiest countries. We're not surprised by the findings. With access to nature and gardening, we see our clients go home happy because of these things every week.
"I love the soil, it's a great friend, such a great friend, it's what motivates me."