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.

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