Richmond Medical Centre Community Garden
Sheffield GP, Dr Honey Smith, is leading the way on a project to green Richmond Medical Centre, Woodhouse. Passionately aligned with the Greener Practice agenda, and in a bid to make the practice more environmentally friendly, as well as bringing the community together around a common goal, Dr Smith applied to the Age-friendly Sheffield micro-fund towards the end of 2021.
Greener Practice is a primary care climate and sustainability network who recognise that the climate and ecological crisis is the leading public health issue of our generation. They aim to raise awareness of the health benefits of climate action and support the primary care community to take practical action towards greener practice. As an early adopter of Greener Practice (involved right from the early days of the network’s inception), Dr Smith and colleagues had a vision to build a community garden in Woodhouse.
The project aims to improve mental and physical health by providing an outdoor space at Richmond Medical Centre, with good disabled access, where people of all ages and abilities can engage in therapeutic gardening activities, or simply to enjoy a green environment for quiet reflection or socialising with others. Beyond this, the garden was to stand as a symbol for Richmond Medical Centre’s commitment to becoming an environmentally greener practice.
The community garden received donations of a water butt, compost bins and a few garden tools. The age-friendly micro-fund money was then used to buy more tools, a storage box, compost, seeds and plants. Dr Smith has also succeeded in recruiting a volunteer leader for the project through Greener Practice connections. She’s keen to get started on growing veg and says this year it will be potatoes and artichokes to help break up the soil for planting in future years.
Dr Smith said: “We want to be part of the solution to the climate and ecological crisis. We want to enhance the health of the population generally, and particularly our population here in Richmond. The fruit trees we planted a couple of years ago are already doing this, and further development of the garden will enhance a green space in the city and ensure a legacy.”
What people said:
“We don’t have much of a garden at home and the community garden at the Medical Centre will be a good place to come and help with our community and focus on different areas of the garden, planting, maintaining or just having a sit outside will be nice.” – patient
“It will be a garden for the staff also, somewhere for staff members to enjoy their lunchtime, where they can de-stress and enjoy fresh air in a Covid-19 friendly environment and some of us will get involved with the gardening itself.” – GP
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