Key outcomes of the research
79% of participants reported that the garden had made a difference to their complex, building and community as a whole. These new greenspaces helped build stronger community relationships by socialising, meeting neighbours for the first time, having the opportunity to learn a new hobby and an increased time outdoors.
The research also captured what improvements the volunteers and participants noticed in their communities. One of the benefits being that the relationship between staff and residents improved. Housing managers and social workers were working alongside tenants helping to foster trust and healthy relationships. There is also genuine enthusiasm, increased cooperation, social consciousness and social cohesion between staff and tenants too.
Feelings of social connection and connection with others was often expressed in each of the focus group interviews. The connection with one another was demonstrated in different ways across the participating communities, including through helping each other with gardening tasks, and meeting new people and engaging in conversation. The garden was described as a space that “brings people together” or an area in the community with a “draw-in factor”.
Community Greening can:
- Enhance social connection
- Enable inclusivity: Intercultural and intergenerational interaction
- Cultivate a sense of community pride and achievement
- Build social capital Foster safety and security
- Encourage aspirational change and community development
- Change self-reported beliefs about public perceptions and stereotypes regarding social housing.