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Social & Therapeutic Horticulture

Carefully planned, achievable, enjoyable, gardening activity; so your client or group can feel the benefits of interaction with green spaces and growing plants alongside others.

STH, is a particular framework of gardening for therapy and well-being, that is planned, based for a group or as a one-to-one therapy, with specific aims & outcomes identified. Whether it is rehabilitation, social cohesion or improved fine motor skills, STH can develop these outcomes, gently and enjoyably, with proven & recognised models of practice.
With the recognised framework of practice, and a person-centred approach, STH practitioners can now work alongside other interventions and allied professions such as OT’s or the MH services, to complete an overall health objective. We can also work directly with individuals, in a simple uncomplicated way.

The ‘people-plant interaction’ is the foundational piece in this very effective intervention method, and it’s benefits  are achieved when we carefully combine planned activity, along with consideration of the materials, resources, approach, equipment and social interaction, and the guided structured session. The role of the practitioner is to gently move the direction of activity, responding to verbal or non verbal queues from the clients, noticing the impactful elements and adapting or grading these during the session to make it attainable for as many participants as possible within the scope of the session.

We use the term ‘meaningful activity’ and this recognises the participants sense of purpose, meaning and hope that can be gained or improved. The metaphors within the activity can be transformative, for example when someone feels they have been the ‘cared for’ for so long; all at once they are able to provide the care to another living thing and feel a sense of self-worth as they ‘contribute’ again. 

Clients that can be supported with STH range from children who have experienced trauma, to those feeling isolated, lonely or perhaps those in a full therapeutic programme to improve mobility after physical injury or illness.

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