GP Food Gardens still growing after 10 years

28 April 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

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In 10 years, Lambeth’s GP Food Co-Op, run by patients, doctors, nurses and Lambeth residents, has more than doubled in size from the original three gardens – with more to come.

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GP Food Gardens still growing after 10 years

Lambeth GP Food Co-op celebrated 10 years of growing food in the gardens of GP surgeries and south London hospitals to boost mental health and healthy eating. The party at We Are 336 on 30 March brought together patients, GPs, NHS staff and supporters, and featured music from Brixton Chamber Orchestra.

Word from the Cabinet

Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities, said: “It was lovely to help celebrate an amazing 10 years of combining sustainability with social prescribing thanks to brilliant Lambeth GP’s, practice staff, our superb trusts and wonderful partners and volunteers.”

A dream of community

Dr Ed Rosen of GP Food CoOp

Dr Ed Rosen of GP Food CoOp

“Ten years ago, in March 2013”, said Dr Ed Rosen, director of Lambeth GP Food Co-op, “we had a dream of creating a community-led health co-operative here in south London.

“Over the past decade we have achieved so much, including being recognised by NHS England for our work in patient engagement in health and being shortlisted for the 2021 Cooperative of the Year Awards. We are proud to be part of the wider co-operative movement and look forward to contributing in the future.”

Supporting patients

The Co-Op currently supports patient-centred gardening for health at Grantham, Lambeth Walk, Corner and Gracefield Gardens surgeries, with a garden at Brixton’s Pulross Centre (a Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust Community Health centre) for patients recovering from stroke.

Lambeth GP Co-op’s vegetable garden at Jennie Lee Garden, King’s College Hospital, was set up seven years ago to support local patients with long-term health conditions to learn how to grow food and, by doing so, improve their health and wellbeing.

Lambeth GP Food Co-op has pioneered green social prescribing in the NHS. Growing vegetables and herbs gives people a reason to be with others, learn and work together. Over 10 years, GPs report that patients who garden ask for fewer appointments. The co-op also runs a monthly vegetable stall in the hospital’s Golden Jubilee Wing, an initiative supported by Medirest.

New gardens

Lambeth Council has provided funding to the co-op to build and lead two new gardens in the borough, at West Norwood Health and Leisure Centre and at a local GP surgery in Stockwell.

More information  

See more about the GP Food Growing Co-Op