Potting plants

Social Therapeutic Horticulture

Roots and All Podcast Episode 23 – Social Therapeutic Horticulture with Damien Newman of Thrive

As the RHS Chelsea Flower Show opens its doors to the public today, it’s interesting to see many of the gardens focus on the wellbeing and therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors. Social Therapeutic Horticulture is a horticulture-based therapy that’s growing in popularity in the UK as more people become convinced of the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors and with plants.

In this episode, I speak to Damien Newman of Thrive, a charity responsible for promoting and providing Social Therapeutic Horticulture throughout the UK. Thrive is also the leading provider of training for those entering the profession. The Thrive website states;

“Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone’s ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.” – www.thrive.org.uk

Damien is hugely knowledgable and a great ambassador for the discipline of STH and this is a fascinating insight for anyone considering it as a career or a therapy.

We cover;

What is Social Therapeutic Horticulture (STH)

The origins of STH

Whether STH works for everyone and who benefits from it the most

Details of where to find evidence-based research supporting the benefits of being outdoors

How can somebody be referred into STH

How is STH applied at a practical level

What makes a therapy garden

How to embark upon a career in STH

Some info about the charity Thrive

About Damien Newman

“I have been working in health and social care for 20 years beginning in mental health care where I first noticed the impact of gardens and gardening for health and began to be involved in utilising gardens and nature within care approach. Teaching in the field across my career I had the privilege of moving to Thrive 10 years ago and now manage our training, education and consultancy services. I aspire to support gardens and gardening to be appropriately utilised across society for the value and benefits it can bring.”


Thrive Charity www.thrive.org.uk

Carry On Gardening www.carryongardening.org.uk

King’s Fund Gardens and health Report – 2016

Report Author David Buck’s Blog

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