For obvious reasons, health and wellbeing are high on everyone’s agenda at the moment. In fact, one of the more positive aspects to arise from the Covid-19 crisis has been an increased appreciation of the positive impact that nature and green spaces have on our mental health and general welfare.
Another element considered crucial to emotional wellbeing is the role of community and connection; something which has been severely affected by the regulations around Covid-19 with the separation of households and the need for vulnerable people to shield.
One of the reasons why Britain in Bloom is so popular and so important, is because it marries both these elements together, providing opportunities to create new friendships and to work with people of all ages and from different walks of life.
The importance of the role of community in emotional welfare is highlighted by a government-commissioned document produced by the New Economics Foundation. The Five Ways to Wellbeing looks at health and wellbeing identifying five key criteria as evidence-based public messages aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing. These five areas are particularly applicable to Britain in Bloom and community gardening groups.
Getting out and about and meeting with like-minded people to work on projects such as planting, weeding and litter picks is an important way to connect. As humans, the majority of us benefit from social interaction and connections, such as those made within gardening groups and other voluntary organisations. It can also be useful for people who are retired, live alone or are out of work; providing a sense of purpose and usefulness.
We all know that exercise is good for us; not just physically but mentally as well. Gardening can be as strenuous or as gentle as you want it to be. Plus, whatever level of activity you opt for, planting and maintaining displays gets you out into the fresh air and sunshine (hopefully). Ultimately, gardening is exercise for the body and the mind and also suitable for all ages.
There is so much beauty in the world, but we tend to rush from place to place without always noticing it. One of the advantages of lockdown has been that many people have had more time to stop and look, reporting a new appreciation for what is around them.
At any time, but particularly now, gardens, the countryside, parks and displays are awash with colours, shapes, smells and textures designed to awaken the senses. There is also an increasing move towards fostering mindfulness through horticulture; either participating in it as an activity or merely appreciating it.
There’s always something new to learn. If you are part of a community group like Britain in Bloom, you may also be learning from each other. The benefits of an enquiring mind, constantly learning and being stimulated through learning and activity are well known.
When we volunteer, we don’t just help others; we often help ourselves by creating a sense of purpose and the achievement of being able to do something good for another human being. So many people benefit from the hard work of Britain in Bloom volunteers and community gardeners. As an initiative, Britain in Bloom has done much to transform the places where we live, work and visit.
So, it’s official. Whether you are a participant or an observer, Britain in Bloom is good for you!
Amberol have 50 years’ experience working with councils, businesses, educational establishments, transport hubs and Britain in Bloom groups. Our self-watering planters, planterware and litter bins are used all over the world to help make a visible difference.
If we can help with your environmental improvement project in any way, call us on 01773 830 930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation chat.