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Connecting Roots Community Garden, Walsall

Key details


  • 22 March 2022


  • RCA

Read time

  • 1 minute

Connecting Roots: Co-creating a Green Social Prescribing Network in Walsall for Health and Wellbeing is part of a £1.5 million Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) programme for levelling up health and wellbeing in the UK. Led by Dr Qian Sun, Reader in Service Design, Policy & Social Innovation at the RCA, Connecting Roots will work with communities to establish how design principles and nature can combine to support physical and mental health.

The project brings together a range of stakeholders, including Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises (VCSEs), local authorities, primary care, funding bodies and policymakers, to work collaboratively towards green social prescribing – a type of social prescribing that links people to nature-based solutions, such as community garden projects, for health and wellbeing.

Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of time spent outdoors to people’s health – as well as the inequality of access to green space in the UK. The goal of Connecting Roots is to create a more integrated care system which addresses these issues, informing and influencing system change. The project will also draw upon Dr Qian Sun’s expertise in design thinking, management and policy to explore how localised nature-based activities for health and wellbeing can be scaled up.

Connecting Roots is one of 12 research projects supported by the AHRC, in partnership with the National Centre for Creative Health, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). All 12 projects combine nature and creative approaches to tackle health disparities across the UK.