Adding life to years
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Green and Growing

Status: Ongoing


Salford United Kingdom
Print this page City population: 23390011% over 60Practice started in 2018


It is acknowledged that many older people live with long-term conditions, and hence need to use primary and secondary care services more regularly. To compensate for this. there is a range of policy frameworks to promote integration of health and social care that attempt to tackle the key issues associated with health and social care.

Social prescribing activity supports an asset based approach, designed to promote skills and attributes of the community and individual. Therapeutic horticulture is an intervention which typifies social prescribing as a non-medical, integrated intervention. Therapeutic horticulture is recognised to be a nature-based approach that promotes green therapies which can be a positive influence on an individual’s social activation (Gonzalez et al, 2010), Berget et al (2012) report that there are a range of activities that constitute “green therapy”; the most common understanding is that it can be used to promote health and well-being for people who are vulnerable or who are socially excluded.


Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Sector(s): Education, Health, Information and communication

Desired outcome for older people:
Build and maintain relationships

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Accessibility
  • Ageing in place
  • Healthy behaviours (e.g. physical activity)
  • Intergenerational activities
  • Inclusion
  • Participation
  • Technologies

Contact details

Name: Helen Dugdale

Email address:

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Local authorities

Others involved in the project:
  • Civil Society Organisation
  • Older People’s Association
  • Volunteers
  • Research institution

How collaboration worked: The practice was developed through a collaboration with older people, public sector and voluntary sector organisations based on feed back collected during the initial age friendly baseline planning. Funding was secured from the Big Lottery Ageing Better programme which is project managed by Age Uk Salford in partnership with Inspiring Communities Together. The green and growing tool kit and network were managed by Incredible Education a Salford Charity.

Older people’s involvement: Older people were involved in the age-friendly practice at multiple or all stages

Details on older people’s involvement: Practice was co-designed with older people based on their interest in being involved in a green and growing project. Older people have been active participants in the design and delivery of their green and growing project Older people have developed their skills and knowledge in technology to set up the green and growing network by setting up a whatsapp group to share information with each other. This was an unexpected outcome of the project.

Moving forward

Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analysed: Yes

Was the impact positive or negative:

Please share with us what you found in detail:
The evaluation has highlighted the positive benefits that therapeutic horticulture embedded within a structured green and growing programme can have on older peoples wellbeing. The green and growing programme empowered individuals to connect, thus reducing social isolation. Significantly the green and growing participants helped develop areas in nature that influenced other non-participants to get outside.

Evaluation report: Green-and-Growing-Report-2018-1.pdf

The older people speak about: The positive impact of being outside: “I really enjoy being outside even just to sieve the compost. Its really therapeutic” “It is lovely to be outside and seeing the clouds and the trees” The impact on their wellbeing: “I really enjoy the gardening group it takes your mind off worrying about what is wrong with you”

Expansion plans:
At this stage in the project we are looking to review what has worked well and secure resources to build on this whilst sharing learning to scale up the practice.

Looking back

The green and Growing Network and tool kit was developed following an interest by older adults in Salford to be more involved in nature based activities. The project developed organically which has meant developing learning whilst carrying out delivery and providing support for individuals. This has been one of the great strengths of the project but has also been a learning process for the delivery partners to manage expectations.

The main challenge is always the cost of a project and demonstrating the positive benefits such community facing work brings. We have tried to overcome the barrier of funding by developing the tool kit which any individual or small group could use themselves with little of no funds. We have been fortunate to secure resource from our local university by working with public health students and providing them with a resource for completing their dissertation. this has provided the project with a strong evidence base and supported a student to gain valuable insight into the work of Age Friendly Salford