This year's National Allotments Week is scheduled to commence on 14 August, providing a great opportunity for your loved one to get active and join in with community events.
Here, we'll take a quick look at the aims of National Allotments Week, the types of event your loved one can participate in, and what makes gardening an appropriate form of exercise for older people.
What's happening during National Allotments Week?
National Allotment Week is an annual event to celebrate the importance of allotments within our society, and raise awareness about how community groups can set up or maintain their own allotment.
Communities are immensely proud of their allotments, using them to practice their green-fingered hobby, socialise with friends, stay active and grow fresh, organic, low-cost fruit and vegetables.
The initiative aims to help the allotment maintain its stature in the community by welcoming in local residents and recognising its position as an 'Asset of Community Value'. Applying for and achieving this status makes it harder for an allotment to be sold on.
Approximately 350 neighbourhood planning applications featuring allotments are currently in place nationwide. Organisers hope National Allotments Week will encourage more communities to apply or support their local effort.
These are just some of the community events that your loved one can get involved in to mark National Allotments Week:
- Open days
- Fruit/vegetable, flower and plot judging competitions
- Afternoon teas
- Produce tastings
- Vintage vehicle displays
These events are happening up and down the country. Some have already started, but the majority will take place during National Allotments Week and on into early September. For full details, take a look at the event programme.
Gardening is a great way for older people to stay active
Support your loved one in taking the knowledge and enjoyment gained from National Allotments Week forward, to help keep them active and socially engaged all-year round.
After all, gardening is an ideal exercise for many older people, and can provide a much-needed link to the local community.
Both gardening and tending an allotment provide a low-impact form of exercise that activates a broad range of muscle groups. Regular exercise of this type can help your loved one:
- Remain supple and ease arthritic pain
- Improve strength, endurance and mobility
- Slow cognitive decline by up to as much as a decade
- Reduce stress levels and feelings of anxiety
Being outside in the sun for even a relatively short amount of time stimulates the production of vitamin D, which can strengthen bones and reduce the risk of depression.
The most important benefits your loved one could experience are social. As National Allotments Week sets out to demonstrate, allotments and other outdoor spaces are ideal places for local residents to gather.
Gardening, therefore, gives your loved one the opportunity to socialise regularly and feel more engaged with the community.
So, make sure to share this year's National Allotments Week with your loved one. The long-term effects could be transformative for both them and the local community.
Learn more about how live-in care can help keep your loved one active and socially engaged by calling on the friendly team at The Good Care Group.
Take a look at this amazing article to get yourself started - A beginners guide to starting an allotment