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Question about gardening research incentives ...

KaliMa Posts: 50 Forumite
Hey all,

Whilst I'm a member of these forums for my personal money-saving adventures, I wondered whether I'd be able to ask a question to do with my job as a research scientist as I think you may have some valuable opinions :)

I have been researching the benefits of allotment gardening for healthy ageing for the last 2 years and am about to embark upon a new study which will follow gardeners (aged over 60) on allotments or community gardens / growing projects over time to track any health improvements. We want to be able to offer incentives to our participants but are having difficulty deciding what would be most welcome by the gardeners themselves (we are a long way off recruitment at the moment so don't have many people we could ask!)

Taking part in the study will require the gardeners to complete a few health measures and questionnaires that will probably take about an hour in total, and they'll need to do this at baseline, 2 month follow-up and a 4 month-follow up, so 3 lots of testing in total.

My team so far has suggested that we enter all participants into a final prize draw at the end of the research to win a decent amount of garden centre vouchers (£100? maybe more!), but that we should give a small incentive at each of the 3 time-points, as a thank-you for continued involvement in the study. Packets of seeds have been suggested for this interim incentive ...

My question is to all of the gardeners on this board - if you were to take part in this kind of study, what would you be happy to receive as a thank you for your time? All measures will be conducted at the allotment site / community garden so there will not be any travel expenses ...

Sorry for the essay! Many thanks in advance for any ideas you have, we want to make sure that we are able to offer our participants a thank you that they will appreciate and not having been a gardener for very long, I'm a little lost on ideas!
Saving up for our 2014 Las Vegas wedding and US road trip honeymoon, all deposits paid - just balances to go! :j


  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,326 Forumite
    Homepage Hero First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 22 August 2011 at 4:17PM
    As an over 60 gardener, no allotment, have you seen the waiting lists? free seeds would be ideal, I never bother with some sort of prize draw, one because I never win, and two because I may well be dead by the time it takes place :D

    As you are investigating allotments the free seeds should be vegetables & not flowers, ideally something the person would not normally grow, like an unusual variety of beans or tomatoes, or a heritage variety for instance
    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
  • KaliMa
    KaliMa Posts: 50 Forumite
    Thanks farway, that's very useful :D
    Saving up for our 2014 Las Vegas wedding and US road trip honeymoon, all deposits paid - just balances to go! :j
  • gazza975526570
    Id agree with that - something definite for taking part rather than the chance of a draw and seeds are the ideal thing
  • yorkieorchid
    yes, i agree too. free seeds is a good idea.
  • KaliMa
    KaliMa Posts: 50 Forumite
    Thanks guys! :beer:
    Saving up for our 2014 Las Vegas wedding and US road trip honeymoon, all deposits paid - just balances to go! :j
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