Gardening and Wellbeing Service

Taking steps to combat social isolation

Many elderly people are at risk of social isolation and loneliness. As their physical health starts to restrict their involvement in social and recreational activities, they can begin to withdraw from the outside world. This can lead to deterioration in their mental health and wellbeing.

To help tackle this, we run a Gardening & Wellbeing Service which promotes social interaction and as active a lifestyle as possible. The service provides a charitable gardening clearance and maintenance support to the elderly and vulnerable in the county.

About the Gardening & Wellbeing Service

Delivered by our Gardening Team Leader with the support of volunteers, the Gardening & Wellbeing Service offers opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer together with vulnerable and socially isolated participants in activities such as maintaining their own garden or growing fruit, vegetables and plants. This can be part of a supervised team involving a group of volunteers or independently on a one-to-one basis with the support of the gardening team.

In addition to supporting individuals, we also work with communities and local groups to carry out community regeneration projects – often in partnership with local authorities, housing associations, schools, and the corporate sector.

How to get involved

After an initial suspension of the service in Spring 2020 due to the pandemic, our Gardening and Wellbeing Service is now operating in line with current Government guidelines. For more information on volunteering or if you need gardening support, please contact 01844 617 231/07917 619230.

The Gardening & Wellbeing Service runs across Buckinghamshire and complements the Handy Helpers scheme and Community Growing Project also provided by Community Impact Bucks.

Chat for Good Service 

Whilst telephoning our clients in March 2020 to inform them of the suspension of our gardening service due to the pandemic, we found that they were feeling lonely and in need of advice on local community support services that could help them whilst they were self-isolating.

As a direct result of the feedback from our Gardening & Wellbeing Service clients, we started our friendly check, chat and connect telephone support that we call Chat for Good. We have continued to run this service alongside our direct delivery Gardening and Wellbeing Service for our most vulnerable clients.

Become a volunteer

We are in need of more volunteers to help deliver our Gardening & Wellbeing Service across the county.

There are currently 65 households on our waiting list. These include households in: Aylesbury, Aston Clinton, Halton, Wendover, Quainton, Waddesdon, Stewkley, Soulbury, Winslow, Buckingham, Steeple Claydon, New Denham & Higher Denham, Burnham, Flackwell Health, Bourne End, Marlow, Amersham, High Wycombe, Walters Ash, Beaconsfield, Adstock, Long Crendon, Wing, Gerrards Cross and Weston Turville.

If you would like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved, please contact 01844 617 231/07917 619230.

Request help

If you need gardening support or know someone who would benefit from the service, please contact 01844 617 231/07917 619230.

Funded by

Buckinghamshire Council

ACRE - Action with communities in rural England

Postcode Society Trust

Fairhive Homes

Thomas Hickman Charity

Anson Charitable Trust

Mobbs Memorial Trust

William Harding Charity

Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society