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Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Courses

Festina Lente is delighted to be a host training centre for Thrive UK to deliver their courses to the Irish market.

With nearly 40 years’ experience as the leading UK charity that uses gardening to help those whose lives are touched by disability, Thrive are experts at helping individuals and organisations to use social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) to help others.

These courses will be interactive throughout, both mornings are classroom based, presentation, group work whole classroom discussion, with time in the afternoon completing practical tasks and exploring gardens with lots of whole group chat and Q&A.

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) involves the use of plants by a trained professional to meet certain clinically defined goals. STH is particularly relevant for the promotion of independence, health and well-bring amongst groups and communities of vulnerable people. This can be achieved through active as well as passive involvement.

Organised therapeutic horticulture programmes have been shown to increase self-esteem and self-confidence, develop social and work skills, improve literacy and numeracy skills, increase general well-being and promote social interaction.

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) can benefit people in a number of ways:

  • It can be part of a person’s rehabilitation process, to help them recover and ‘find their feet again’ after an illness or a difficult time in their lives
  • It can help people recover from a wide range of conditions
  • It can help people to learn new skills
  • Can help slow down the deterioration seen when someone has a degenerative illness.
  • Better physical health through exercise and learning how to use or strengthen muscles to improve mobility
  • Improved mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement
  • The opportunity to connect with others – reducing feelings of isolation or exclusion
  • Just feeling better for being outside, in touch with nature and in the ‘great outdoors’

Social and therapeutic horticultural benefits people with many different disabilities, including those recovering from stroke and heart disease, blind and partially sighted people, those in the early stages of dementia, and people with physical, mental health and learning disabilities.

Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager Bio

I am Damien Newman, Thrive’s Training Education and Consultancy manager, I deliver and manage the sharing of Thrive’s experience and expertise in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture through short courses, higher education, bespoke training and consultancy. I have worked for Thrive for over 7 years delivering upwards of 300 courses on the subject, additionally presenting at various national and international conferences and having articles on the subject published in both specialist and general publications. Having accredited one of the few higher education curricular in the field of nature based health and care interventions I am one of a handful of people across the world who lecture and provide higher education in this field. I have taught in the field of Health and Social Care for over 12 years following and during 12 years of working in mental health services where I first realised the value of horticulture as a therapeutic tool for people with ill health and disabilities. I believe and work toward nature, gardens and horticulture being appropriately utilised across society for the health benefits it is evidenced to provide.

2018 Social & Therapeutic Horticulture Courses:

Overview of our 2018 Courses, scroll down for more details about each course:

  • Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture To Support Older People To Age Well – 5th & 6th May 2018
  • Understanding Disability in Garden Design – 25th May 2018
  • Setting up a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Project – 23rd & 24th June 2018
  • Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture to benefit people with learning disabilities – 27th & 28th October 2018
  • Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture to benefit people with learning disabilities – 27th & 28th October 2018

Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture To Support Older People To Age Well

Date: 5th & 6th May 2018
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Festina Lente Gardens, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Course Tutor: Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

As we age maintaining health is very important, particularly in an age when we expect to live to a full life expectancy. Gardening and Contact with nature can be used in different ways to support people to age well. Gardens and gardening can be used in both public health programmes supporting people to age well and therapy programmes that support people to recover from ill health and learn to lead a positive life as our health and occupations change.

The course will explore:

  • The evidence behind the value of gardens for older people health and well being
  • The difference between preventative health and interventive therapy programmes for older people
  • How activity can be adapted to suit different needs
  • Gardens and their design to promote access, interaction, and ensure safety
  • How we can demonstrate the difference it makes to people lives and the impact projects and programmes have

The course will cover sight and other sensory loss, neurological injuries and disability such as stroke, physical disability, dementia and other common mental ill health connected to ageing and the impact of changing roles as we age which often lead to loneliness and feelings of loss.

This 2 day course in Festina Lente provides information, skills, techniques and confidence in using social and therapeutic horticulture to support older people. Exploring evidence based practice and theoretical underpinning to consider the practical application of horticulture as therapy.

2 Day Course is Suitable for:

Anyone interested in using Social and Therapeutic horticulture across the older spectrums including healthcare practitioners, green care practitioners, horticulturists and horticulture educators who want to add to their understanding and professional development and volunteers who may be looking to improve their contributions to the emerging fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and green care.

Price & Booking Information
Price is €230 for the two full days.  Click here to book your place.

Understanding Disability in Garden Design

Date: 25th May 2018
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Festina Lente Gardens, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Course Tutor: Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

Designing gardens for people with disabilities involves far more than a few wide paths and sensory plants. Drawing on Thrive’s 35+ years’ experience, and key messages from the fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and Green Care, this course provides garden designers with knowledge and examples of best practice for creating actively therapeutic green space for disability, recovery and rehabilitation.

The course will explore:

  • How people gain from people plant relationships
  • How to assess green space using Attention restoration theory
  • How to make green space actively accessible

1 Day Course is Suitable for:

Anyone interested in using Social and Therapeutic horticulture across all spectrums including healthcare practitioners, green care practitioners, horticulturists and horticulture educators who want to add to their understanding and professional development and volunteers who may be looking to improve their contributions to the emerging fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and green care.

Price & Booking Information
Price is €115 for the full day.  Click here to book your place.

Setting up a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Project

Date: 23rd & 24th June 2018
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Festina Lente Gardens, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Course Tutor: Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

Drawing on our considerable experience of setting up our own projects, and assisting other organisations through our consultancy service, this course provides the practical knowledge, skills and insights required to start a new social and therapeutic horticultural project and to share the health benefits of therapeutic gardening directly with people who have been touched by disability.
‘Helped guide and clarify my thinking’

What you will learn:

  • To describe the current state of social and therapeutic horticulture in the UK
  • Explore routes to feasibility and sustainability
  • Understand the legislation and guidance in social and therapeutic horticulture
  • Explore potential sources of funding in social and therapeutic horticulture
  • Discuss approaches to sharing your project with referrers and potential clients

2 Day Course is Suitable for:

Anyone with an interest in the logistics, legislation and practical concerns associated with setting up a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture project including healthcare practitioners, green care practitioners, horticulturists and horticulture educators who want to add to their understanding and professional development and volunteers who may be looking to improve their contributions to the emerging fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and green care.

Price & Booking Information
Price is €230 for the two full days.  Click here to book your place.

Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture to benefit people with mental health support needs

Date: 8th & 9th September 2018
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Festina Lente Gardens, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Course Tutor: Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

This 2 day course provides information, skills, techniques and confidence in using social and therapeutic horticulture to address rehabilitation, recovery, social inclusion, training and employment.

What you will learn:

  • To understand and know how to apply the principles and practice of social and therapeutic horticulture to benefit people who have mental health support needs
  • To gain an insight into the role of a horticultural therapist working with people who have mental health support needs
  • To begin to design a client centred social and therapeutic horticulture programme
  • To understand the importance of assessment, monitoring, evaluation, horticultural programming and planning for garden projects and for the individuals attending a garden project.

2 Day Course is Suitable for:

Anyone interested in using Social and Therapeutic horticulture across the mental health and disability support spectrums including healthcare practitioners, green care practitioners, horticulturists and horticulture educators who want to add to their understanding and professional development and volunteers who may be looking to improve their contributions to the emerging fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and green care.

Price & Booking Information
Price is €230 for the two full days.  Click here to book your place.

Learn how to use Social and Therapeutic Horticulture to benefit people with learning disabilities

Date: 27th & 28th October 2018
Time: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Where: Festina Lente Gardens, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co Wicklow
Course Tutor: Damien Newman, Thrive Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

This 2 day course provides information, skills, techniques and confidence in using social and therapeutic horticulture to address healthy living, occupational deficiency and transition pathways for adults with learning disabilities.

What you will learn:

  • To describe the theory of social and therapeutic horticulture in relation to learning disability
  • To demonstrate effective techniques and activities to engage those with a learning disability in horticulture and its related activities.
  • To describe how to analyse gardens and activities for their compatibility for those with a learning disability
  • To begin to design a client centred social and therapeutic horticulture programme
  • To describe the importance of assessment and outcome measurement in social and therapeutic horticulture for good practice and sustainability

2 Day Course is Suitable for:

Anyone interested in using Social and Therapeutic horticulture across the disability spectrums including healthcare practitioners, green care practitioners, horticulturists and horticulture educators who want to add to their understanding and professional development and volunteers who may be looking to improve their contributions to the emerging fields of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and green care.

Price & Booking Information
Price is €230 for the two full days.  Click here to book your place.

GIY in Waterford is also a host centre for Thrive courses.

GIY supports a global movement of people who grow some of their own food at home, at work, at school, or in the community. In 2017 we supported 500,000 people and 8,000 groups to grow some food through campaigns, events, online and in groups.
Our mission is to change the world, one GIYer at a time, by inspiring Food Empathy; a deeper understanding of food that comes from growing some of it yourself.
We are all about building a healthier, happier, more sustainable world.

More details about GIY on their website https://giy.ie

Click here to view the GIY courses