Issue 97 is out now
Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

13th October 2020

The Horticultural Therapy Trust in Plymouth has, since 2012, worked with children at risk of going into care or with issues at home, adults with mental health issues and physical disabilities and older people in residential homes

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

13th October 2020

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

13th October 2020

Run by deb hoskin, a counsellor in training and Dennis Trewin who has 40 years experience in gardening, the Trust works through the medium of gardening to support emotional and social well-being, the learning of new skills, and to provide a calm, empathetic, nurturing, fulfilling and active space where children and adults are free from daily pressures. Deb says, “Whoever we work with, we support individuals to find and discover their potential and value as a person, their own unique abilities, and to be valued. There’s something really important about belonging.” She thinks that allowing people to care and nurture is the most important element of their work, “I’m a great believer that when people are in need, from four-year-olds to adults, they need to be able to help others. To give is a human need. Whether you’re caring for a woodlouse or a flower, that brings out something that they may not discover in their daily life.”

Their experience has shown that children with ADHD settle better into class after a gardening session, and there’s growing evidence that working outside can help with other mental health issues, “Even something like schizophrenia, or hearing voices, people find that that’s not happening when they’re in the garden, or is lessened. People are able to be present and enjoy the moment, the day. GPs have recognised that our participants’ lives have improved; they’ve not needed support workers, or psychiatrists in time because they’ve found ways to cope and self-manage and recover. People lose track of everything except the space that they’re in, what they’re doing and the beauty of the garden.”

Deb feels that horticultural therapy is a gentle and simple way to help solve the growing mental health funding crisis. “Through participating in Horticultural Therapy Trust sessions there is a natural cutting back in high end services needed due to individuals finding unique and meaningful recoveries together, which is key. It costs less by far than secondary care mental health services costs, especially hospital beds. What it’s about is being human to human. I think that gets lost sometimes. We all need those basic human things of belonging, sharing and being valued and valuing others, empathy and being together with nothing else in the way.”

horticultural-therapy-trust.org

loading