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Herbalism in the Community Award

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is committed to helping ensuring that herbal medicine is as accessible as possible, and we know the value there is in connecting herbalism and communities. We are delighted to launch two new awards to acknowledge the community herbalism being undertaken by herbalists nationally and internationally. Each award will be given to an individual herbalist or herbal team in recognition of their work, but their project will receive the monetary award, to help to further its reach. 

Community herbalism involves herbalists helping to maintain the health of their self-defined community through the use of herbs, whether this is through free herbal clinics, community herbal gardens, accessible herbal education or many other means.

We know there are so many amazing projects already happening, so please get in touch and nominate a project you are involved in, one you admire, or one that has made a difference to you. 

Nominations for the 2023 awards will open later in the year.

  • The project should be focussed on increasing accessibility to herbal medicine for people who may not have the resources to be able to do this otherwise. 
  • The herbalist(s) need to be involved in a community project that involves more than two people in its organisation and is explicit in its aims to benefit the community.
  • All projects need to be not for profit and not a personal business. 
  • These awards recognise the achievements of an existing project rather than one in the process of being set up.
  • In the spirit of community herbal medicine we do not want to define what a herbalist is but would expect the herbalist to be working within the framework of clinical herbal medicine. 

The definition for community is an inclusive one; being any group of people you offer your knowledge, skills, and attention. We will particularly be looking for projects that have in their long term goals strategies to involve more members of the community. 


We are pleased that the 2021 Herbalism in the Community Awards were sponsored by Avicenna, who generously offered the winning projects an extensive collection of Avicenna products to help them in delivering herbal support to their communities.


For the 2021 awards, there were two categories: National and International. 


National (UK based) Community Herbal Award

This award recognises the community herbal work being done throughout the UK.

International Community Herbal Award

There are so many inspiring herbalists and community herbalism globally and we would like to recognise this.


When applying for the awards we would like you to consider the following questions:


  • What is your community and why they need your project’s support?
  • How many people does your project reach?
  • How is your project organised – who is involved and how do you work together to make the project effective?
  • How does your project empower communities and embed sustainable change?
  • How has your community responded to and engaged with the organisation of the open project?
  • What differences has your project already made?
  • What are the next steps for your project?
  • How do you work with other organisations and projects?
  • How does your project engage decision makers and policy setters?
  • How does your project work with other healthcare providers?


Not all of the above questions may be relevant to your project and it is not expected that each project will be able to answer them all. The hope is that these awards can guide projects towards a goal of best practice within community herbal medicine.  

2021 Award winners


UK WINNER - Wester Hailes Community Herbal Clinic

Wester Hailes Community Herbal Clinic are an Edinburgh and Glasgow based workers’ co-operative.  Their central philosophy is that herbal medicine is the medicine of the people and should be accessible to everyone.  They offer a series of practical courses and workshops and support students with their clinical hours.

They also grow herbs in the Blackford Glen Medicine Garden and produce resources to enable people to practice herbalism at home.  Earlier this year, they formed a collaboration with Nikki Darrell and Alex Duffy of the Plant Medicine School in Ireland in order to create the Plant Medicine School Scotland.  They are awarded a prize of £350 as well as some herbal goodies from Avicenna.

UK HIGHLY COMMENDED - The Mobile Apothecary

The Mobile Apothecary is a collaboration between Phytology, Rasheeqa Ahmad of Hedge Herbs and a growing network of talented volunteers spanning the areas of arts, herbalism, and horticulture. Since April 2019, they have been bringing people together to collectively learn about medicinal plants and create herbal medicine for distribution to fellow community members facing barriers to health, food and shelter.  They believe that human health and planetary health are intertwined, and that people have the right to basic knowledge and skills in herbal medicine and medicine-making.

The Mobile Apothecary supports underserved communities in the locality with good quality, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies and they have won a runner-up prize of £150.


The Dublin Herb Bike is a mobile clinic providing free, herbal care and comfort to communities in need around Dublin.

The project is the combined effort of herbalists, health workers and communities who are rolling up their sleeves in order to provide holistic support to those who need it most.  The Dublin Herb Bike built their project from the street up, creating their own medicines, building their kits and fitting out their bike.  They have been awarded £350 as well as some herbal goodies from Avicenna.


Herbalista recognises healthcare as a fundamental human right.  They sponsor health services and herbal education through a variety of programs, empowering people to care for themselves and their neighbours.  They believe that true healthcare is based on a foundation of mutual respect and mutual aid–solidarity, not charity.

Herbalista Lorna created her first mobile clinic in Atlanta and has since shared this model of care with herbal communities across the US, Ireland and the UK.  They have won a runner-up prize of £150.

2022 Award winners

WINNER - Herbalists Without Borders, Bristol

Institute Members, Becs Griffiths MNIMH and Annwen Jones MNIMH founded Herbalists Without Borders, Bristol in 2016.

Herbalists Without Borders Bristol is a collaboration between volunteers who are passionate about plant medicine, including clinical herbalists, community herbalists, herb growers; and local support projects that work with asylum seekers and refugees. They are a local, independent, non-affiliated Bristol group.

They currently organise:

  • A mobile dispensary for common ailments, such as: insomnia, anxiety, coughs and low immunity. This dispensary is taken to existing support projects in the city.
  • A referral system for more in-depth cases to access further herbal support from the trained herbalists involved.
  • Harvesting of herbs from local growing projects including the Herbalists Without Borders Bristol medicine garden.
  • Wild crafting events to harvest herbs.
  • Self-care workshops in the projects that we visit.
  • Volunteer medicine making events where we make the medicines for the mobile clinics.
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Fenland Natural Health

Based in Lincolnshire, Fenland Natural Health are passionate about using the plants around us to maintain or regain our health and wellness. They actively promote natural health and wellbeing within their local community by running monthly meetings at Sutterton Village Hall. They also run wild medicine walks and workshops for making simple home remedies.

The aims of Fenland Natural Health are:

  • To promote natural health and wellbeing in the community
  • To promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles
  • To promote western herbal medicine
HIGHLY COMMENDED - Totnes Community Herbal

Totnes Community Herbal is a grassroots community project that aims to make herbs and herbal knowledge more accessible by growing herbs together, making folk medicine to put out on a donation basis and running herb related workshops and events.

They have a community garden based in Dartington, Totnes, where they have just begun volunteer sessions, and they are also running events in the community teaching people how to use herbs.

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Community Apothecary, Waltham Forest

Community Apothecary in the London borough of Waltham Forest is a CIC (Community Interest Company) facilitated by medical herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad, growers Jayne Kress and Izzy Vandergert-Wilson and garden coordinator Jonny Joseland, partnering with Organiclea workers’ coop. They work collaboratively with a loose network of healing herb growers, medicine makers, apprentices and users, with a three-focus structure of gardens, learning & medicines.

They are developing growing spaces for medicinal herbs around the borough, to be lovingly cultivated then made into medicines by hand, through regular gardening and practical pharmacy sessions that also act as learning opportunities to share knowledge collectively about how to grow, harvest, prepare and use plant medicine.