The Duchess of Cornwall has praised a group of GPs for their pioneering use of gardening to help patients manage health conditions like diabetes and heart problems.
Camilla said if the rest of the nation could see the work the Lambeth GP Food Co-op is doing – providing communal allotment spaces for the long-term sick – they would put it into practice.
Earlier during her visit to the London Borough of Lambeth, the duchess added the finishing touches to a library mural in a primary school in an area of the capital where the community is combating gang problems.
With a brush in her hand, she added paint to an artwork based on CS Lewis’s Narnia books during her visit to St John’s Angell Town C of E Primary School in Brixton, south London.
The duchess then met the organisers and beneficiaries of the food co-op at the nearby Stockwell Community Centre, and told them: “I would like to congratulate all of you for what you’re doing here, it really is a question of seeing is believing.
“And if everybody could see what’s happening, what you’re doing here, they would believe it and put it into practice elsewhere.”
The Lambeth GP Food Co-op started in 2013 and is a community-led organisation of patients, doctors, nurses and Lambeth residents growing food together.
It sees three GP surgeries refer willing patients to the allotment sites, and the gardeners then sell their produce locally to NHS staff.
Camilla visited a site used by the Grantham practice and chatted to the green-fingered patients who spoke about their enjoyment of being outdoors.