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Department of Life Sciences collaborates with NHS patients in garden project

The Department of Life Sciences is collaborating with NHS patients as part of a gardening programme taking place on campus this summer. 

Posted: 30 August 2017

image for news story Department of Life Sciences collaborates with NHS patients in garden project
Participants in the Project Grow gardening programme at the University of Roehampton.

Led by Dr Sandra Klaperski, from the University of Roehampton’s Sport and Exercise Research Centre, the aim of Project Grow is to help NHS patients who are referred from Wandsworth Falls and Bone Health Service to take part in gardening activities in a bespoke garden in Frobel College. The project provides patients with an alternative physical activity that is not solely exercise based and it enables access to a garden for patients who may not have access.

There are sixteen participants who attend the programme and learn about gardening or apply their gardening knowledge weekly. Participants are assisted by student volunteers and experts, including Roehampton’s own sustainability programme, Growhampton, and occupational therapists. The garden has specially built ground-level and raised beds designed to suit patient’s needs. The gardening programme includes activities to test and strengthen the participants’ power, coordination and balance.   

Dr Klaperski said “We are already observing positive outcomes as a result of the intervention. At the end of the summer, in addition to a bounty of vegetables, we aim to present more detailed feedback on the efficacy of gardening in helping people at risk of falling.”

The project is funded by the Health Innovation Network and South West London System (South London Innovation Small Grants 2016). The University of Roehampton research team plan to expand the limited research that indicates gardening activities are beneficial to physical and mental health for people who are at the risk of falling. 

The Department of Life Sciences offers outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Sport and Exercise Sciences and Sport and Exercise Science.

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