Supporting patients self-isolating through a Gardening at Home Scheme – Lambeth GP Food Co-op working with the London Borough of Lambeth
Posted on 3rd September, 2021
The purpose of this initiative was:
- provide practical help and support through gardening at home to patients managing Long Covid or stroke
- telephone and email support from expert garden buddies
- reduce isolation and increase the sense of belonging through growing vegetables
This work started from scratch, and our first step was to recruit a cohort of buddies. Two members, a nurse and a nutritionist became the first garden buddies, and we recruited three buddies through the Lambeth Council’s network. This was followed by designing a quality framework for the buddying scheme that met national coaching, mentoring, and buddying standards. One of our members drew on his experience with developing a similar scheme for the NHS, which was then adapted for use for the gardening at home initiative. We went live in November 2020 and continued to support a growing community of people who were self-isolating during last winter and into Spring 2021. Patients were referred to us by clinical staff attached to the Lambeth Community Stroke Team (Guys & St Thomas’s Hospital) or local GP’s.