Growing Better Lives 2018 Conference

News item first posted on: 24/01/18

A conference exploring and celebrating the links between community growing, care farming, health and wellbeing will take place in Manchester in April, which will also mark the official launch of a major new organisation following the merger of the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens and Care Farming UK.

The Conference, titled Growing Better Lives 2018, is aimed at community growing and care farming practitioners, health commissioners, policy makers and academics. The event will reflect on the increasingly strong body of evidence about the positive influence of farming and gardening in care and health contexts. It will look at how best to harness those positive benefits in the future.

The conference will also celebrate the birth of a new organisation, resulting from the merger between the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and Care Farming UK. The new organisation, whose name will be unveiled at the conference, will build on the work of the two current organisations, representing and supporting the delivery of care services and community development through farming and gardening activities.

The conference will also:

  • increase awareness and understanding about land-based community growing and care farming activities.
  • provide evidence of how this work can make positive and lasting improvements in people’s lives
  • give practitioners an opportunity to learn new skills and celebrate success with their peers

Much recent research has shown how city farms, community gardens and other community managed green spaces have an vital impact on health, wellbeing, education and sustainable development of community facilities, often in deprived areas. Meanwhile care farming in the UK has grown in prominence in the last decade as an effective form of health and social care - so much so that the expansion of care farming in the UK was mentioned this week in DEFRA’s 25 year environmental plan.

An exciting list of speakers are already confirmed for the conference including: Dr Rachel Bragg (Care Farming UK); Dr Mike Hardman (University of Salford); Dr Michelle Howarth (University of Salford); Dr Chiara Tornaghi (University of Coventry), Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible) and Sarah Williams (Sustain - The Alliance for Food and Farming).

There will also be seminars, workshops and site visits as well as plenty of time for networking. An evening community garden party includes an inaugural Awards Ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate heroes of care farms, city farms and community gardens). For booking information and details about the programme, use the link below:

Growing Better Lives 2018