Health for Life blossoms at horticultural show

Boost for community healthy eating programme.

Participants in Birmingham’s award-winning Health for Life in the community programme were invited to showcase their best home-grown produce at the annual Birmingham Community Food Festival & Horticultural Show.

Held at heritage attraction Winterbourne House & Garden, over 60 entries from across Birmingham were put forward at the horticultural show. Individuals presented a variety of fruit and vegetables to judges, in which several Health for Life participants were awarded for their efforts. The contestants displayed their produce in 28 different categories, including Health for Life championship tray, jars of jellies, jams and pickles, largest sunflower head and best in show.

William Henry won best in show for his fantastic parsnips, while Health for Life volunteer, Julie Marriot, won first prize for the largest sunflower and best plant grown in an unusual container. Julie said: “The show was absolutely brilliant, it was a great day out and I met lots of different people. I left with the urge to grow more produce at home. I’ll be entering again next year!”

Funded by the Mondelēz International Foundation and delivered by The Conservation Volunteers, Health for Life is a £3.1 million five year programme which supports activities that engage people in growing food, healthy eating, cookery and physical activity.

Having created 15 community food growing spaces across south Birmingham involving over 3,000 volunteers so far, the Health for Life in the community programme has gone from strength to strength since it started in 2012. To add to its success, TCV won the ‘best show garden’ and ‘gold’ award at this year’s BBC Gardeners’ World Live for their outstanding Health for Life in the community show garden.

Chris Blythe, Health for Life in the community operations leader for The Conservation Volunteers, said: “Once again, this year’s Health for Life horticultural show was a huge success, and it is fantastic to see it being part of a much wider event celebrating food, community and heritage across the city.

“The participants presented some really great produce and it’s wonderful to see them come together for the show. Thank you to everyone that joined us!”

Visitors at the event were also able to talk to local food producers, growers and suppliers, visit local crafters and attend a range of workshops, including a garden design workshop.

TCV and Health for Life in the community have established and developed 15 new community food growing spaces in South Birmingham. For more information, please visit or or contact Chris Blythe on [email protected].