The Pride of Marks & Spencer – Ray does us proud

Pride of Marks and Spencer
Ray receiving the Pride of Marks and Spencer Award from Simon Lucas, Head of Region, Republic of Ireland business, Marks & Spencer.

How delighted are we to report that our already Gold sponsors Marks & Spencer have recognised their employee Ray O’Callaghan’s volunteering work with an award? To top it off the award comes with a further £10,000 towards Field of Dreams. Read more

Group gardening is good for you!

Volunteering for group gardening is good for you
Research in the US has shown group gardening is good for your health

Improve your health by group gardening twice a week

Less stress, less anxiety, significantly more vigor, friendliness and general good health – sounds too good to be true doesn’t it! This magic medicine is not a new wonder drug or an expensive therapy session, surprisingly it is group gardening.  A recent scientific study in Florida, USA has shown that group gardening twice a week can do all of this! So why not consider volunteering for our Field of Dreams project?!

A group of Florida researchers has found a link between gardening and good mental health. Scientists at the University of Florida studied 23 healthy women.  The preliminary findings show the women who participated in group gardening activities twice a week reported profoundly reduced stress, anxiety, anger, confusion and fatigue. The women also reported significantly more vigor and friendliness than the women in the control group. The women in the study were asked to participate in gardening activities twice a week for six weeks  This group gardening included seed and bulb planting, plant propagation and tasting herbs. Brain scans and other psychological observation before and after the gardening program revealed the gardeners were significantly less stressed than the control group.  Dr Guy (lead researcher) says the research owes much to horticultural therapy.  However, this study significantly differs because the subjects of this study were healthy. “What we found in the gardening group was a significant impact,” Guy says. He hopes to have the research published later this year.

Sounds like volunteering on our Field of Dreams project could be really beneficial for you! Check out our volunteering tab on the Field of Dreams Volunteer Form to register your interest!!

Read more about this interesting scientific project at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gardening-good-brain-florida-researchers-162121756.html