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IAA ESRC: Growing Together – a barometer to understanding and activate social wellbeing through micro-gardening.

Project: Research


Social cohesion, wellbeing and prosperity are key elements of the ESRC and Lancaster University delivery plan. Working with community groups, community members as well as strategically important partners, the six-month Growing Together project will co-design a ‘wellbeing barometer’. This will help in understanding and nurturing the mental health of people across a range of communities in Morecambe's West End. Growing Together aims to have a positive impact on:

- the mental wellbeing of people in some of the most deprived communities in Morecambe;
- the capacity and capability of community groups in Morecambe to continue this impactful work after the intervention;
- the ability for strategic initiatives across the university to ground their aspirations directly with community members and further, acting as a seed-point for further activities.

To achieve this impact, we build on a pre-existing project being led by the Good Things Collective, ‘micro-gardens’, this is a community-led initiative focused on improving the mental wellbeing of residents of the West End of Morecambe. This project is using a space (approx. 7x20m) in the West End on ground donated temporarily by Lancaster City Council.

IAA ESRC Funding Award 2021/22

Layperson's description

Growing Together will undertake a co-creation process working with ‘micro-gardeners. Together we will develop a 'wellbeing barometer'. We will explore together how we can co-design and make something that enables participants in the micro-garden project (and beyond) to indicate their stare of mental health, and through this, open up conversations with peers and community leaders. Talking about mental health issues is an important element in starting to address these issues.

Key findings

Short titleGrowing Together
Effective start/end date11/08/2131/01/22