Published date: 03 January 2023

Creating outdoor social prescribing space in Tower Hamlets

Wellington Way Health Centre, London


Tower Hamlets is an area of high deprivation in London. Through our social prescribing programme, we seek to transform vacant indoor and outdoor spaces to help improve community wellbeing through non-clinical ways.

At the back of the Wellington Way Health Centre in Tower Hamlets, we identified green space which had lots of potential to be used in such a way.

We had previously extended, remodelled and refurbished Wellington Way Health Centre in 2020 to create a far bigger and more modern health centre for two GP practices. Investing in a social prescribing space in the health centre would provide even more integrated care for the community in Tower Hamlets.


Working alongside the practice staff, network manager and social prescribing link worker at Wellington Way as well as Collective Works Architecture & Design Studio and Urban Growth and Ginkgo Gardens, we developed a proposal for the space for it to be improved to benefit the community. We revised the initial proposal to move the main raised beds and integrated seating back against a neighbouring wall to increase central space.

Upon approval of the proposal, we created a beautiful accessible garden with planters and raised beds for community gardening activities.

It was great to see practice staff getting involved in the gardening too!


The gardening space now has planters, raised beds, a table and many benches to cater to a range of uses.

Maintaining the plants offers patients the chance to do some exercise which not only has physical health benefits but has been proven to support mental health and wellbeing, especially for those that don't have their own gardens or didn't think about taking up gardening before.

The space will also be used for yoga classes, coffee mornings/afternoons, mindfulness sessions, toddlers groups, art therapy workshops, mum/dad hubs, local community meetings and by staff on their lunch breaks. In bringing these people together, the garden is helping to tackle social isolation.

By investing in Tower Hamlets, we are helping to tackle health inequalities and providing both clinical and non-clinical spaces to support patient wellbeing and give community members some control over their health outcomes.