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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 course will equip participants with the theories and practical knowledge required to begin a client-centred social and therapeutic horticulture programme with people with a range of learning disabilities including Down’s syndrome and ASD. Learn to describe and analyse gardens and activities for their compatibility with people with a learning disability. Appreciate the importance of assessment and outcome measurement for good practice and sustainability.

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, price does not include lunch.  Click here to book your place.

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 and benefit others.

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.

Cancellation Policy

All courses must be 100% paid in advance to secure your place.
Cancellations 4 weeks or greater before start date – Full refund
Cancellations 3 weeks before start date – €25 administration fee.
Cancellations 2 weeks before start date – €75 administration fee.
Cancellations 1 weeks before start date – no refunds.

About Thrive

Thrive are the leading UK charity using gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who encounter disabilities or ill health.

Thrive have been educating people for over 35 years and our courses are run throughout the UK by a highly professional team of trainers with expert knowledge and experience.