Fortnightly Healthy Hub Bulletin Issue NO9 August 11th

We are sharing current health and well being news to support you through Covid19 Lockdown and this issue we are celebrating National Allotments Week.

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National Allotments Week

Cartoon for allotments week

National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities.

The National Allotment Societies National Allotment week for 2020 is focusing on Growing Food for Health and Wellbeing, a reflection of the many benefits of growing, cooking and eating your own fruit and vegetables.

Usually there would be celebrations and open days at allotment sites across the country sharing produce and gardening tips and enjoying all that allotments have to offer. Because there have been concerns that the pandemic would halt these celebrations the National Allotment Society organised a competition for gardeners to send in videos and stories about their allotments during July. There are some lovely video stories. Just follow the link to take a look; National Allotments Week video competition.

News from Welwyn Hatfield Allotments

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Louise Humphreys our Planning and Landscape Support Officer (Allotments) has been telling us what's been happening across our allotments during lockdown.

'It may feel like there has been many negatives during Covid19 lockdown, however those with allotments in Welwyn Hatfield may beg to differ. Demand for allotments trebled during the first few weeks of lockdown and those lucky enough to have one have commented on how it is their love of gardening that has seen them through the worst of lockdown, both mentally and physically'.

Allotments have given people a place to go, when options where very limited, not only to get 'daily exercise' but as somewhere to relax get away from the stresses and worries of the world. They have given people a purpose when other aspects of their lives have been challenging. They have been a respite for those experiencing loneliness and have even become somewhere new to 'home school'. Now five months on from the start of lockdown plot holders are reaping the benefits of their hard work and are starting to enjoy an abundance of healthy organic produce that they have been nurturing and growing.

During National Allotment Week Welwyn Hatfield had planned to have an open allotment day where the local community could visit the allotment gardens to see what goes on in the 'hidden' gardens of the borough, sadly, due to social distancing guidelines this has been postponed. Do keep an eye out for what's happening next year. In the meantime if you fancy taking up a plot yourself then please email and get your name on the waiting list.

Healthy Eating Recipes for National Allotment Week

Liz Paffley our Health & Wellbeing Officer says; 'summer brings with it a wide variety of reasonably priced seasonal fruit and vegetables. New potatoes, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, beetroot, salad vegetables and a wide variety of berries, are just some of those that are ready for picking and adding to our recipes. Have a look at these recipes to give you some ideas for producing quick, healthy and cheap meals for National Allotment Week.  Have fun....'

Just follow this link to access the summer recipes; Icon for pdf Healthy Summer Recipes [10.26MB]

Five Key Messages for Health and Wellbeing

Connect - with a little support

Gardening for the Disabled Trust established in 1968 provide grants to help people continue to experience the joy of gardening, despite disability, mental or physical. The most common request is for raised beds and planting tables, they also pay for accessibility ramps, handrails for outside steps, adapted tools, polytunnels and much more. Sometimes grants just go towards purchasing seeds or bulbs to get the garden going again. Follow the link to find out more about apply for a grant; Gardening for the disabled grants.

Welwyn and Hatfield Council Assisted Gardening Scheme helps council tenants to maintain their gardens if they are unable too. Follow the link to find out more; Assisted gardening.

Longcroft Allotment Association is a volunteer led organisation created to support and promote allotments in the Welwyn Garden City Area. They provide advice on growing, pest control etc and there is even a shop to purchase seeds and gardening equipment. There are two sites; the Digswell and Broadwater sites. Follow the link to find out more; Longcroft Allotment Association website.

Hertfordshire Garden Trust were established in 1991 to help protect Hertfordshire landscapes and gardens for future generations to enjoy. They run an education programme and school programme encouraging the development of school gardening to inspire future generations to develop an interest. Follow the link to see their member's garden gallery from lockdown this year; Herts Garden Trust - lockdown gardens.

an elderly resident using a social portal

Now that lockdown is slowly lifting even for those who have been shielding, not all of us are able to see our families and friends. During lockdown care homes across the country have been providing free social media portals to help their residents communicate and connect with their families. Foxhole Care Homes have found them a very useful tool to help people connect people to their loved ones at such uncertain times. Follow the link to find out more about how they have been using them; Social media portals.

Wave Length in Hornchurch Essex provide people who are lonely and on low income with radios, televisions, and tablet computers. If you or you know someone who could benefit from this type of technology then follow the link to make an application; Apply for help.

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Keep Learning - as the world around us keeps changing

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The WGC Horticulture Society aim is to foster the knowledge and care of plants and gardens in and around WGC.The WGC Horticultural Society is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society. Members can receive free advice on gardening problems, plant identification and access to lectures and demonstrations all over Britain. The Secretary has full details follow the link to find out more; WGC Horticulture Society.

If you are unsure how to operate your business during these difficult times then The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has produced a toolkit of resources to help businesses become COVID-secure, resume trading safely, and protect their staff and customers as lockdown is eased. These documents will be regularly updated in line with the latest Government guidelines. Please check back often to ensure you are following the latest version. Some of the guidance may not apply to you directly, but can be adapted to suit your business; Just follow the link to find out more; BBFA Covid-19 advice and support.

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Gardening and growing vegetables doesn't just need people to plant and grow it requires ecosystems, biodiversity, insects and food chains to enable our fruit and veg to grow. Herts Wildlife Trust offer some great events online. To find out more about whats going on with our wildlife in Hertfordshire why not sign up for their badger talk. Just follow the link; Herts Wildlife Trust events.

Welwyn Garden City was founded in 1920 by Ebeneezer Howard. It was the 2nd garden city to be founded and many consider it to be the finest in the world.This year we are celebrating its 100th Birthday.WGC 100 had planned so many amazing events this year to celebrate but have had to postpone and cancel nearly all their events due to Covid19 pandemic. There is some amazing historic reviews of the last century in WGC on the website with images and photos being collected to mark our time during this pandemic too. Follow the link to find out more;

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Give - while enjoying nature

a young woman standing next to an allotment

A study published by the Journal of Public Health found that one session of allotment gardening can result in significant improvements in both self-esteem and mood, via reductions in tension, depression, anger, and confusion. If you are looking for places to taking part in gardening and horticulture activities there are several clubs to get involved with in Hertfordshire. Follow the link to read more about how gardening can help with mental health and access the study; Health Benefits of gardening.

a photo of a garden barbecue

The National Garden Scheme states that gardens, allotments, and balconies became havens for  millions of people during lockdown. Whether it's a relief from stress and anxiety you are looking for or an opportunity to be more self-sufficient or you just love nature, during the week of 14th - 20th September, there is an opportunity to host an event in your garden and join The Great British Garden Party to raise funds for vital nursing charities. It's a wonderful opportunity to share your own outdoor space, large or small, with friends, family, and neighbours. Fundraising packs are available from the 10th of August, follow the link to find out more; National Garden Scheme garden party.

If you fancy volunteering your gardening skills (no matter what level) for a community project or want to find a gardening club or society near you, the Royal Horticultural Society website has lots of information on local volunteer opportunities available; RHS - find a group.

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshires Plant Heritage is a national charity aiming to ensure the cultivated and garden plants we grow now, will be available to future generations for cultural, medical, culinary and aesthetic use. They do this through their National Plant Collection scheme, their Plant Guardians and local group networks. They offer some really interesting talks and opportunities to take part in ensuring our plant heritage. Follow the link to find out more; Plant Heritage local.

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Take Notice - or it could disappear

The Cottage Garden Society was founded in 1982 when cottage garden plants were becoming 'unfashionable' so as to protect this vanishing planting style. The Cottage Garden Society (CGS) is a friendly society of about 3,000 members in many countries, though most are based in the UK. It brings together amateurs and professionals who share an enthusiasm for this type of gardening. Follow the link to find out more about the Hertfordshire group; Cottage Garden Society groups.

Groundwork East have been working hard in Hertfordshire to build strong communities through developing and maintaining their green spaces and running projects that benefit the community. As we emerge from lockdown they are offering some great free online family activities. Take a look at the gardening and woodland craft and outdoor fun activities flyers.

Groundwork are also helping to mark the WGC 100 years celebrations by engaging schools with local history, tree planting and environmental science projects.Just follow the link to find out more; Groundwork - Welwyn Garden City.

The Governments advice to shield has now come to an end. If you not sure what this mean then take a look at the most recent Government guidelines; Government COVID-19 guidelines.

a photo depicting a worried elderly resident

Herts Domestic abuse helpline is for everyone. Call 08088088088 9am-9pm Monday to Fridays and 9am to 4pm weekends or email

If you have been shielding and people have been helping you, you're in charge of making your own decisions and you have a right to be respected or listened to. If you're concerned about yourself there are people you can speak to and there is help available. Trust your instinct - if something doesn't feel right it probably isn't. You don't have to put up with it. Hertfordshire domestic abuse helpline.


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Be Active - in the garden or take part in Big Summer

Hertfordshire Hardy Plant Society are friendly and enthusiastic gardeners and garden lovers of all levels of skill and ability, with a common interest in learning more about perennial plants. They have a winter programme of talks, with slides or of a practical nature, from well-known speakers. These talks are followed by refreshments with homemade cakes, and a members' plant stall. Summer programme usually includes a coach trip, garden and nursery visits, a Seedling Swap and a public Plant Sale. Follow the link to join or find out more; Herts HPS website.

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Just 4 Keepers Goal Keeping Development Days Moneyhole Playing Fields Big Summer

If you want to stay active and get out and about in your community this August then Big Summer from 1st-23rd has the answer. There are some great family events including events from WGC 100! Keep an on the events' page as its being up dated all the time; Big Summer Events.


Xplorer is a free family fun navigational challenge that is educational and gives children a sense of adventure as they explore the outdoors. Their challenge events are located in 3 parks across Welwyn and Hatfield. Take a look at the poster to find out more or follow the link to their website; Xplorer events.

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For the latest government advice on Covid19 please follow the link; Government COVID-19 Guidance.

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