A conference exploring and celebrating the links between community growing, care farming, health and wellbeing will take place in Manchester today and tomorrow (April 24-25). The conference is sponsored by The Mayfield Partnership.
Aimed at community growing and care farming practitioners, health commissioners, policy makers and academics, Growing Better LIves 2018 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.
Growing Better Lives 2018 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 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:
- 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
- celebrate success with their peers through our Local Heroes awards, sponsored by Dobies, highlighting the best of city farms, community gardens and care farming.
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 (University of Essex; Dr Mike Hardman (University of Salford); Dr Michelle Howarth (University of Salford); Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible) and Kathryn Rossiter (Thrive).
There will be a full programme of seminars, workshops and site visits as well as plenty of time for networking.