Horticulture and gardening activity is used as a therapy in the UK for growing numbers of vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems, learning difficulties and other health and social problems. However, until now little published work has focused on how horticulture and gardening can help to promote social inclusion for these vulnerable groups. This guide looks at the ways in which social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) projects can help foster independence, build self esteem and confidence and provide training and employment opportunities for people with health or social problems.
This guide will be useful for anyone thinking about setting up STH services for vulnerable groups or for those already providing STH support but who want to understand further the nature and extent of provision currently available in the UK.
The Growing Together project is a partnership between Loughborough University and Thrive and has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund. This guide complements a research study, Health, well-being and social inclusion: Therapeutic horticulture in the UK, which is also available from The Policy Press.
Joe Sempik and Jo Aldridge are Research Fellows in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. Saul Becker is Professor of Social Care and Health at Birmingham University.
Introduction; Activities and opportunities; Managing the project; Communication; Conclusion