The Healthy Spaces project aims to make open spaces around residential, shopping and school areas safe communal spaces which foster community spirit and cohesion. Residents are encouraged to participate in health-enhancing activities that promote mental well being, as well as incorporating healthy physical activities. Within this project, existing and newly created infrastructure is used as locations for community gardening and allotments, healthy walk schemes, community art projects, window box schemes and play areas. Involvement in these activities is used to foster friendship amongst the residents, as well as creating employment opportunities for local residents.
Healthy Spaces projects basically fell into four categories
- Landscape Projects: These are larger physical capital improvement projects. Three notable projects in Phase 1 of Well London were Tubbs Road Pocket Park in Kensal Green; The Barnfield Estate open spaces and play area project in Woolwich Common - the Healthy Spaces project raised over £175,000 additional funds from four funding sources for this; and the allotment and kitchen garden sites in North Kensington.
- Community Garden Projects which include food growing, allotments, window boxes, and cook and eat sessions using vegetables grown on the allotments.
- Access to Healthy Spaces Projects: These are events to promote Healthy Spaces, often held in open spaces, and can include a number of activities like flower baskets, sport, or workshops. Plus aspirational visits.
- Arts Projects mostly with the theme of Healthy Spaces.
Case study: Lansbury Gardening Club
Limehouse (Tower Hamlets) residents got involved in gardening through Lansbury Gardening Club. Healthy Spaces provided a community gardener who worked with them to make use of an under-used space at the Hind Grove Community Centre run by Poplar Harca. Eleven residents and 4 children from local schools took part over 17 weeks.
(Photographs courtesy of Louise Joly)
- Healthy eating
- 85 % of the participants are making healthy eating choices
- Access to healthy food
- 85 % of the participants have access to healthy food
- Increased physical activity
- 85 % of the participants are involved in weekly physical activity
- Improved mental well-being
- 85 % of the participants indicated that the gardening session has improved their mental well-being
Lansbury Gardeners formally constituted into a voluntary group in May 2009 to promote and develop gardening for all ages. They aim to make their estates greener and more attractive places to live, and by doing so promote fitness and well-being through light exercise, increased social contact and finding out more about healthy eating.
For more images visit the group’s Flickr page