Today I came across this association. Not quite sure why I wasn’t aware of them before. Still perplexed by that. Anyway, I hope to attend their first AGM in November 2012.
On their website their aims are stated as:
- To develop and promote the profession.
- To be the representative body for Horticultural Therapists and practitioners of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- To promote, maintain and improve the theory, practice and benefits of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.
- To forge links with practitioners and similar organisations at home and abroad
Most importantly I feel is that their long term goal is to create a voluntary professional registration for social and therapeutic horticulture practitioners in the UK. This is something which is most needed in the UK in order to create a more professional and scientific approach to the use of horticulture as therapy. Sadly, the UK lies behind both the USA and Canada in this respect.
How close the professional registration that they are after I do not know, but ill hopefully find out in November. However I have heard from a contact in Vancouver that a member of the group recently spent some time in Canada looking at the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association regarding how they created professional registration and examining policy documents which all sounds like it is heading in the right direction.