USA and Canada – All The Gardens

I have just posted this on my sister blog http://www.thetravellinght.wordpress.com but thought that it was worth posting on here too.

Here is a video which takes you through all of the gardens, in order, from my Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Included is at least one picture from each stop with the names and places included.

If you require any further information about my project or the places I visited, please message me.

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2015 WCMT Applications Open

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As you may be aware I was fortunate enough to be awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to Canada and the USA to examine the use of horticultural therapy as a medical treatment.

Applications are now open for people to travel in 2015 so if you would are based in the UK and would like to travel to see best practice in your occupation with the aim of using the knowledge gained to improve your profession, community and the people you work with then please follow this link: http://www.wcmt.org.uk/applications/apply-online-for-a-2015-winston-churchill-fellowship.html

I must say that they have been the most organised, professional, supportive and understand organisation I have ever worked with and would encourage people to apply.

A Visit to Helmsley Walled Garden

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Last week I visited the horticultural therapy program at  Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire. Helmsley is set within the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and approximately 15 miles east of Thirsk.

The walled garden once served as the kitchen garden for the Duncombe Estate. The original kitchen garden was closer to the River Rye but after being flooded out was re-located to it’s current position. The garden was eventually abandoned in 1984 before the restoration began 10 years later to bring the garden back to life. At the same time Alison Ticehurst felt that the garden should be utilised for benefiting the local community and a healing garden and horticultural therapy project was pursued. In 2014, the garden celebrates its 20 year anniversary.

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The horticultural therapy service uses the term ‘Supported Volunteer’ to describe people accessing its sessions. There are currently 20 Supported Volunteers and approximately 100 volunteers helping to run and maintain the garden. The Supported Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the garden, with particular focus on the production and sale of plants to the general public. It is not a service for a specific disability or condition, all are welcome.

Helmsley Walled Garden does not charge for the service it provides for Supported Volunteers. The cost is covered by plant sales, entry to the garden (currently £5.50 for adults) and the on-site café. The service employs three part-time horticultural therapists and is run year round, with reduced hours over the winter months.

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On a personal level, I would dare to argue that such a great service which is open to a variety of people and in a fantastic settings should receive direct payment in line with other day services. I appreciate that is by no means as easy as writing that sentence. There are all the legal ramifications and obtaining ‘preferred supplier’ status with the local care authorities but I would be surprised if it does not offer a service in line with other services provided in the area.

The manager highlighted a major concern for the future was that rural public transport is being considerably affected by the government spending cuts, which has reduced services in the area. In the long term, this may hamper Supported Volunteers from being able to just get to the garden.

The garden is open to the public from April 2014 and I thoroughly recommend a visit, if only to admire the long perennial borders and large array of trained fruit trees. There is of course a lot more to offer from a horticultural point of view, including the Victorian glasshouses, but you will be able to feel fulfilment that your entry fee and any subsequent spend it going to help run and worthwhile and excellent service for people in the local community.

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For more information on Helmsley Walled Garden, its Horticultural Therapy Program and visiting the garden please visit: http://www.helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk/

‘Horticulture as a Medical Treatment’ – The Report

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As posted on my Winston Churchill Fellowship blog page (www.thetravellinght.wordpress.com), I have recently completed the report on the findings of my horticultural therapy travels to the USA and Canada. It has been published on the WCMT website and is free to read and download from: http://goo.gl/NroUSc

Thrive: Green Care White Care

In November 2013 Thrive, the UK charity for horticultural therapy, held a seminar in London entitled ‘Green Care White Care: Gardening and Growing for Health’.

The seminar included seven presentations which can all be viewed and downloaded from the Thrive website where there is also a short video of Sir Richard Thompson’s keynote speech.

http://www.thrive.org.uk/green-care-white-care-presentations.aspx

Kingwood Trust Autism Research

Green Spaces – Outdoor Environments for People with Autism

I intended to post this ages ago, but then wanted to read through it and it sort of got lost amongst other things but I have finally got round to what is a really useful piece of work. It obviously is aimed at people with autism but it stimulates thought about the things that should be considered when working with all groups of people outdoors. I found that the format flowed really well too.

It is free to download from the Kingwood Trust website along with their other research on environments and working with people with autism and Aspergers syndrome.

http://www.kingwood.org.uk/printable-documents-research

HT at Minnesota Arboretum

I was also recently in Minnesota, USA and visited the horticultural program at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. I found this article from Lake Minnetonka Magazine which explains all about it.

To read the article please visit: http://lakeminnetonkamag.com/article/human-interest/minnesota-landscape-arboretum-horticulture-therapy