Growing Better Lives Conference

Event Dates: 
Tuesday, 24 April, 2018 - 09:30 to Wednesday, 25 April, 2018 - 17:00

*Growing Better Lives – Joint conference*  

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens with Care Farming UK

A conference exploring and celebrating the links between community growing, care farming, health and wellbeing.

Who is this conference aimed at?
Community growing and care farming practitioners, health commissioners, policy makers and academics. The conference will reflect on the increasingly strong body of evidence about the positive influence of farming and gardening in care and health contexts. It will look at how best to harness those positive benefits in the future.

What is the conference about?
It will celebrate the launch of a new organisation, resulting from the merger between the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens and Care Farming UK. The new organisation, whose name will be unveiled at the conference, will build on the work of the two current organisations, representing and supporting the delivery of care services and community development through farming and gardening activities.

The conference will also:

  • increase awareness and understanding about land-based community growing and care farming activities.
  • provide evidence of how this work can make positive and lasting improvements in people’s lives
  • give practitioners an opportunity to learn new skills and celebrate success with their peers

Much recent research has shown how city farms, community gardens and other community managed green spaces have a vital impact on health, wellbeing, education and sustainable development of community facilities, often in deprived areas. Meanwhile care farming in the UK has grown in prominence in the last decade as an effective form of health and social care - so much so that the expansion of care farming in the UK was mentioned this week in DEFRA’s 25-Year Environmental Plan.

Conference outline
An exciting list of speakers are already confirmed for the conference including: Dr Rachel Bragg (Care Farming UK); Dr Mike Hardman (University of Salford); Dr Michelle Howarth (University of Salford); Dr Chiara Tornaghi (University of Coventry), Pam Warhurst (Incredible Edible) and Sarah Williams (Sustain - The Alliance for Food and Farming).

There will also be seminars, workshops and site visits as well as plenty of time for networking. An evening community garden party includes an inaugural Awards Ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate heroes of care farms, city farms and community gardens).

Book Your Place now!

Outline Programme

24 April (daytime) Strategy, policy and academic links:
A series of presentations and breakout sessions on community growing, social farming, the health agenda and panel discussions. ​Salford University, 24 April 2018. This day is aimed primarily at academics, representatives from all tiers of government and voluntary sector organisations, though community growers, care farmers and other practitioners are welcome.

24 April (evening) Celebration Garden Party:
A social event at Hulme Community Garden Centre, with craft activities, a local food feast and an awards ceremony. A great opportunity to celebrate the work of care farmers, city farmers and community growers and a chance to network and learn more informally about the new merged organisation. This event requires purchase of a separate ticket and you don't have to attend any daytime parts of the conference in order to join in!

25 April (daytime): Understanding the benefits, celebrating the successes
In the morning there will be presentations and discussion sessions, plus practical skills workshops, followed by Seeing Is Believing tours of key farming and gardening venues across Manchester. Like the Garden Party, this day will be of particular relevance to community gardens, city farmers, care farmers, CSA practitioners and others directly involved in green space use. 

A full rundown of the programme and list of speakers, workshops and visits will be available soon. A limited number of travel bursaries will also be available.

Tickets & Booking

There are a small number of Early Bird discounted tickets for the Full Event (Includes both days and the evening Garden Party). These are available on a first come, first served basis.

There are also flexible booking options for either Day One, Day Two, the Garden Party or any combination). Prices below:

  • Early Bird Offer for Full Event = £120 (first 30 tickets only, includes both days and Garden Party)
  • Full Event = £150 (normal price, includes both days and Garden Party)
  • Day One Daytime Only = £70 (Does not include Garden Party)
  • Day Two Daytime Only = £70 (Does not include Garden Party)
  • Garden Party = £25 (Evening event, can be booked separately or in addition to Day One or Day Two tickets)

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Code of Practice

The SF&G Code of Practice for care farming services provides quality assurance for clients, commissioners and families alike. We encourage all care farmers to adopt the care farming Code of Practice. For more information click here

Care Farm of the Month

Hall Farm, Eastoft in Lincolnshire works with adults & children of varying abilities

More info here