Calling Staffordshire's Community Gardeners

Date
Published in
Burton Mail (UK)
Written by
Tom Stephenson

With the weather getting warmer, and more people getting out in the garden, it’s a great time to be celebrating green-fingered people and their achievements. What better way to do that than with “The PosturePlast Community Gardener of the Year Award”.

Launched by celebrity gardener Kim Wilde, the award seeks to recognise an individual who has really inspired a community to get gardening. It was developed in response to the huge variety of community gardening projects that are sprouting up all over the UK.

Kim Wilde said, “I am really happy to lend my support to the PosturePlast Community Gardener of the Year Award. It's a great scheme which will boost community spirit, improve the look and appeal of our towns and villages and encourage people to get active. There are some wonderful examples of community gardening projects which have transformed people's lives and it's fantastic to be recognising those talented gardeners who have made the projects come to life. I can't wait to see the entries and would urge people to get digging and get involved!”

An example of a community project can be seen in Stafford where Staffordshire University set up their own community organic garden back in 2007 called Growing Concern. The project sees staff and students from the university, particular those with disablitlies, working together to grow organic produce.

However, this is only one of the many great schemes taking place across the country and back experts PosturePlast hope to see examples from the city to suburbia.

Adam Dallison, osteopath and inventor of PosturePlast, said, “It’s fantastic that people are discovering the value of gardening as a community centered activity but we would urge them to take care of their backs because it’s all too easy to create a back problem when you’re in the garden.”

There are 18.5 million gardeners in the UK and around 80% of them will suffer with back pain – that’s an incredible 14.8 million! Adam advises people to really think about the movements they make out in the garden. He says, “Most injuries and pains occur from spending too long doing one activity, or weeding on your knees and over reaching. It's not physical like heavy lifting, but stretches the ligament and is generally much worse then one heavy lift. When people lift something heavy the brain kicks in and they bend knees, not so for repeated little lifts, but this is when injury occurs.”

Adam suggests varying low boarders with hanging baskets to give a variety of movement and when carrying heavy stuff holding it close to the body, not at arms length, which is common with dirty muddy gardening equipment.

To enter the PosturePlast Community Gardener of the Year Awards, community gardeners can either nominate themselves, or someone else, by emailing 100 words describing their project along with nominated name and address to postureplast@gardener.com. The closing date is the 31st December 2013.

The winner of the unique PosturePlast award, promoted by BBC Gardener’s World, will receive a beautiful engraved glass rose bowl from Langham Glass together with gardening equipment from B&Q.

For more information visit www.postureplast.co.uk.