The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are delighted to have received ‘best show garden’ and ‘gold’ awards at this years’ BBC Gardeners’ World Live (16-19 June 2016, NEC Birmingham) for their outstanding Health for Life in the community show garden.
Designed by Owen Morgan of Mosaic Design, the winning garden is a celebration of community gardening and the Health for Life in the community programme, funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation.
TCV work across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone and, with this in mind, Owen has designed a pragmatic growing space illustrating the wide range of activity that community growing spaces can accommodate. The aim is to give visitors plenty of accessible ideas to take home.
The show garden reflects the three main elements of the Health for Life programme: food growing, healthy eating and physical exercise.
Building the show garden involved a professional team as well as volunteers from the Health for Life’s community growing spaces in Birmingham.
The garden, which beat all competitors to be awarded ‘best show garden’ on Wednesday evening, at the start of the event which runs all weekend, is also hosting a range of fun activities for visitors to enjoy. These range from children’s healthy eating activities, seed mat painting (that the children can then take home and plant), poetry and live performances. A recent King’s Fund report ‘Gardens and health’ (May 2016), evidenced the health benefits of gardening activities and the show garden aims to encourage people to join in and feel good.
Funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation and delivered by TCV, the Health for Life in the community programme has gone from strength to strength since it started in 2012.
Having created 15 community food growing spaces across south Birmingham involving over 3,000 volunteers so far, the programme provides wide ranging opportunities for local residents to get involved in growing food whilst getting active and healthy.
Chris Blythe, Operations Leader for Birmingham & West Midlands at TCV, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that our garden has been awarded gold and best show garden. It’s the result of hard work from an expert team with enthusiastic support from volunteers. We hope that winning will help get the message out that food growing and outdoor volunteering really does create healthier and happier communities for everyone.
“We want to thank our partners Mondelēz for their ongoing support of the Health for Life programme – we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”
Kelly Farrell, community affairs manager at Mondelēz International, added: “We are thrilled that the Health for Life show garden has received the gold and best show garden awards. The garden represents what has been achieved through the programme, in bringing communities together, to develop outdoor spaces for growing fresh food and contributing to a healthier way of life.
“The Mondelēz International Foundation is proud to support its partners in delivering such a successful programme that continues to make a positive difference to the community.”