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‘Grow your own’ inspired by new Coventry art exhibition

digPhD student from the University of Warwick has produced a new arts project at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire in Coventry to encourage locals to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

On Tuesday 25 November, ‘Growing Well: a recent history of growing your own’ will go up on display as part of an ongoing partnership between the University of Warwick and the Hospital’s Healing Arts Programme.

Sophie Greenway is creator of the project and currently studying for her PhD at Warwick’s Centre for the History of Medicine.

Sophie said: “Coventry has a really strong history of food growing both individually and in community groups. My internship with UHCW Healing Arts represents a great opportunity to share this history with local people, and hopefully to encourage more residents today to catch the ‘grow your own’ bug.”

‘Growing Well’ tells the story of food growing in Coventry over the twentieth century, including ‘Dig for Victory’ during the Second World War, an experimental housing project that was to include organic growing on site, an attempt to repackage allotments as leisure gardens, and the establishment of the famous organic gardens at Ryton, now called Garden Organic.

Visitors can also learn what UHCW is doing to promote healthy eating and the outdoors, including the Hospital’s award-winning Jubilee Nature Reserve.

The event will be held between 10am and 1pm in University Hospital’s Outpatients department to celebrate the new exhibit and promote growing and eating well in Coventry and Warwickshire. To find out more and add your own memories to the project visit

Editors Notes

Sophie Greenway is a PhD student at the Centre for the History of Medicine, and has also worked as a history teacher and museum curator. Sophie’s project, entitled ‘Growing well: Dirt, health and the home gardener in Britain 1900-1970’ explores links between the environment and health in the context of domestic vegetable growing. She investigates the historical reasons why some people prefer to buy polished carrots, whilst others regard the muddy ones from a local veg box as more healthy.

The Healing Arts Programme at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust compliments patient care and welfare through a diverse range of activities, including visual and performing arts. The programme is funded by UHCW Charity and helps soften the hospital with quirky art exhibitions, creative workshops in ward dayrooms and music.


For more information visit:



Twitter: SophieGreenway1



24 November 2014