Gardening and the social engagement of older people

Journal article citation:
Working with Older People, 15(3), 2011, pp.112-122.

The Community Action in Later Life - Manchester Engagement (CALL_ME) project promotes independence and social engagement among older people in disadvantaged communities. This paper identifies ways in which community action can enhance the quality of life of older residents and reports specifically on four community gardening initiatives in Manchester. The paper, drawing on qualitative data from the four projects, presents evidence of how older people can be actively engaged in community projects. It explores the benefits of involvement including enhanced well-being, increased socialisation, learning and empowerment. The challenges faced by the initiative include maintaining interest, recruiting new members and needing external support. The paper discusses how gardening initiatives can involve and benefit older people and the wider community and the value of an action oriented approach in disadvantaged communities. Recommendations regarding the sustainability of such projects are made by providing education and training to enhance participants' skills.

Subject terms:
older people, social inclusion, urban areas, communities, empowerment, gardening;
Content type:
Journal home page
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