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New study measures impact of Master Gardeners


New study measures impact of Master Gardeners

Garden Organic have launched new research this week to find out the impact of lovely Master Gardeners in Warwickshire, London, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

We’re delighted to have teamed up with Coventry University to discover the health, environmental and social impacts of over 250 volunteers helping nearly 1,000 mentored households and speaking to over 15,000 residents in diverse communities.

There’s lots of good stuff coming up:

Step one: until the 30 September 2011

Master Gardener Vicky and her householder Linda with prize cauli! Joined by Guardian journalist Chris Arnot in central London

a) We sending questionnaires to every household mentored by a volunteer Master Gardener  – all the individuals, couples and families whose 12 months free food growing advice started between May to October 2010.

All these households kindly returned a registration form to their volunteer Master Gardener with contact details and a bit about their food growing at the time. Our new, larger questionnaire collects the latest data as a very important part of evaluating the impact of the Master Gardener Programme.

Click here to find your local Master Gardener for 12 months free growing advice

b) We’re also sending questionnaires to every Master Gardener trained in 2010. Whether or not they’re still volunteering with us, we’re keen to evaluate the impact of the programme on their life. This follows a volunteer survey each Master Gardener kindly returned at their induction training.

Click here to become a Master Gardener…

Step two: all go in November

We’re hosting household interviews and Master Gardener focus groups in every area. It’s very exciting.

With Coventry University’s guidance, our eager co-ordination team are out and about gathering more qualitative thoughts from our beneficiaries.

Watch out for news articles this autumn…

Step three: going public

We’ll publish interim findings early in the 2012 before subsequent reports.

Read the pilot findings so far…

Together with other research, we’ll write to households registered from November 2010 to collect more data…

And of course, we’ll continue to publish the later numbers and case studies every quarter. Latest stories below:

NEWS: Amazed! Master Gardeners help 17,000 people…

CASE STUDY: In the words of Master Gardeners…

Who’s who?

Master Gardeners

Volunteers recruited, trained, and supported by Garden Organic to mentor households wanting to start growing food or grow more. The programme is funded with local support and Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Scheme.

Garden Organic

We’re the UK’s leading organic growing charity, dedicated to promoting organic gardening in homes, communities and schools.

Coventry University

Researchers in the health, environmental and social impact of local food systems at the Applied Research Centre in Sustainable Regeneration (SURGE) and the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS).

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We’re creating a model to establish custom networks of volunteer Master Gardeners in more UK areas. More information available here.

Photos on flickr