Speaker to present gardening and wellbeing vision to the industry at Glee 2018

Founder of Life at No.27, Annabelle Padwick, has been announced as an expert speaker at Glee 2018.

Writer and presenter Annabelle will explain how gardening can help change the lives of those struggling with mental health challenges by sharing her own personal story – which led to setting up Life at No.27.

In addition, visitors and exhibitors will be the first to get an in-depth insight into her social enterprise-led vision, which aims to create an allotment-based support network that will help improve the lives of people of all ages across the UK.

“Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year,” Annabelle explained.

“There is strong evidence highlighting the health benefits of gardening, including improved confidence, mobility, communication, concentration and ultimately self-belief. Using my own experiences, I have begun laying the foundations for a social enterprise which will be accessible through self-referral, GPs, psychiatrists and local councils.

“The subject of health and wellbeing is already extremely prolific across the food and fitness industries, but it also offers a multitude of opportunities for garden retailers to communicate the benefits of gardening. In turn enabling retailers to appeal to a wider audience, increase their customer bases and connect with those who have a long lifetime value. I’m excited to have this opportunity to connect with garden retailers and brands at the upcoming show.”

Glee event director Matthew Mein added: “Research has shown gardening can improve mental wellbeing and physical health and the role it can play as the ‘Natural Health Service’. This will be shown through the exhibitors at Glee and also the innovative Retail Lab area which will focus on the importance that gardening and outdoor activities play in our psychological and physiological well-being.

“Annabelle’s speaker session echoes this perfectly, and will show – first hand – exactly the positive impact gardening can have upon a person, family, or community. We’re so pleased that Annabelle is able to join us at Glee, and are grateful for her sharing her story to help others.”

Annabelle has been promoting the benefits of gardening since 2015. In addition to writing her popular allotment blog and speaking at events such as BBC Gardeners’ World Live, she has recently been announced as a Thrive Ambassador, joining landscape expert, Mark Lane and TV gardener, David Domoney.

Annabelle will hold two talks, which will take place on the main stage. “It’s not what you grow, it’s how YOU grow” on Tuesday, September 11 at 11:00am and “Community and CSR Engagement: The benefits a National Initiative can bring to you, as retailers and brands” on Wednesday September 12 at 1:30pm.