Grow Social

Gardening can bring people together, helping to connect us with each other, ourselves and with nature. That is why we are encouraging you to make new connections in your community by growing together.

Health and wellbeing is very important to us at the RHS and following the Government’s latest update on 16 March 2020 and the ongoing situation with COVID-19, we are recommending that all groups postpone their Grow Social events until later in the year.

Despite this, Grow Social is about trying to help combat social isolation and your efforts are needed now more than ever. Please remember to check in on your neighbours and those who may be feeling isolated, and to also look after your own wellbeing. Maybe get creative with growing at home in your garden or on a windowsill.

If and when you do go ahead with your event later in the year, we would love to hear about it.

What is Grow Social?

Grow Social, our brand-new initiative for 2020, is designed to bring people together using the power of plants.

Loneliness is a major health concern in the UK, affecting people of many backgrounds, ages and locations, and has been shown to be linked to poor physical and mental health.

Through our work we have seen how plants can bring people together in multiple ways and how the act of growing and caring for plants has many benefits for wellbeing, as well as the environment.

Grow Social is designed to give you the opportunity to share what you love about plants with other people in your community by holding an event so that many more people can benefit from being involved, either by just enjoying your space, using their skills or learning new ones, all while having the chance to socialise and chat.

We've put together a number of resources to provide you with some tools and inspiration to help you to:

  • connect with others in your community
  • inspire people to try something new or share their own skills
  • empower people to be involved, by welcoming them in and sharing what you do

How does it work?

We are inviting groups, schools and people to host an event where others in your community can feel comfortable to join in, try new things or just have a good chat. Events can be whatever you make them, all we ask is that you try to involve plants in some way. For example you could host a nature walk, a tea tasting, a planting session or a botanical craft session - the brief is wide open as we want to see your creativity shine!

To help with your planning, we have lots of great downloadable resources.

Who can take part?

Anyone can host an event but you may find it easier to host as part of a group or in partnership with another local group. We don’t mind how you shape your event, we just hope we can inspire you to share your passion for plants with others.

Why should you take part?

Grow Social is about helping people feel more connected, particularly people who may be feeling isolated or lonely.

But we also hope that Grow Social will give you the opportunity to achieve a number of your own goals such as:

  • sharing your love of plants, gardening and/or the outdoors
  • meeting new people
  • creating new links in your local community
  • finding new volunteers if you need them
  • raising awareness of your work in the community
  • raising money for your group or a charity

When can you host an event?

The ongoing situation with COVID-19 means that we are recommending that all groups postpone their Grow Social events until later in the year.
 

Applications have now closed for our Grow Social event packs but you can still get involved! Why not check out our online resources?

Grow Social 2020

Although it's too late to get an event pack, you can still host an awesome event using our online resources. Check them out below!

Gardening can bring people together, helping to connect us with each other, ourselves and with nature.

That's why we are encouraging you to make new connections in your community by growing together.

Keep in touch

We can’t wait to hear how you get on!

Use #growsocial to give us a glimpse of how you’re making our resources your own and are preparing for your event, ahead of time. We’d also love to see lots of photos of your Grow Social event!

@RHSSchools
RHSSchoolGardening
schoolgardening@rhs.org.uk

Helpful resources and info

Use these printable resources to spread some sunshine to others and make your event a success!

Event planning booklet

Converstion starter cards

Sunflower bunting template 

Event invitation template

Thank you card template

Certificate template - if you have young people taking part in your event, you might like to give them a certificate for taking part

'Money raised' poster template - you can use this if you raise money as part of your event

Grow a sunflower - how to sow and grow your sunflower seeds. 

Sunflower growing - read our top tips on growing these 'happy plants'.


Further reading:
If you want to understand more about loneliness and social isolation in the UK, you can read the Government's 2018  Loneliness Strategy, A connected society

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Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
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