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.

Applications are now closed for Grow Social

But don't worry! You can still get involved using the resources on this webpage.

What is Grow Social?

You may remember Grow Social from its launch last year, it’s a new RHS initiative designed to help combat social isolation. Unfortunately, like so many other things in 2020, events across the UK had to be postponed. 

Loneliness is now more widespread than ever, 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 a chance to share what you love about plants with other people in your community and an opportunity to reach out to those who need it most, by undertaking small acts of kindness and giving people simple ways to connect with nature.

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 individuals to spread a bit of sunshine. Whether you want to let your neighbour know you’re there for them with a doorstep plant drop or you want to encourage your community outside with a treasure trail - the brief is wide open as we want to see your creativity shine!

 

Who can take part?

Anyone can take part, you don’t even have to be an avid gardener – there’s nothing more fun than learning a new skill together. We just ask that you share the fun with someone you think needs it.

If you’re a school or community group, this is a great way to reach out to your neighbourhood, at a time when getting together might not be possible. 

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

When can you Grow Social?

We recommend getting involved and joining the fun throughout summer, but you can use our resources to make new connections all year round. 

Grow Social 2021

Grow Social is back! Communities across the UK are sharing their love of plants, making new connections and helping to fight loneliness.

Applications are now closed, but you can still get involved using the resources on this page!

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. We’d also love to see lots of photos of you and your community Growing Social!

@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!

Conversation starter cards

Sunflower bunting template 

Thank you card template

Certificate template - if you're planning a competition, trail or just want to reward people's hard work, use this certificate to congratulate them!

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

We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards