Health, well-being and social inclusion: therapeutic horticulture in the UK

2007-07-02T10:46:43Z (GMT) by Joe Sempik Jo Aldridge
This evidence paper summarises the findings of the third and final phase of the Growing Together study of the use of social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) as a form of health and social care provision for vulnerable adults. The first phase of the research, a review of the literature, has already been published (Sempik et al, 2003) and summarised in Evidence Issue 6. The second phase, findings from a survey of STH projects showing the level of activity and participation in the UK were summarised in Evidence Issue 8. Full details of these findings have recently been published (Sempik et al, 2005). In order to study the effects of participation in STH, 24 garden ‘projects’ were examined in depth. Interviews were recorded with 137 clients, 88 project staff and carers, and 11 health professionals. The findings show that STH is an effective form of social care which promotes social inclusion and well-being for people with a wide range of social, mental and physical problems, including those with mental ill health, learning difficulties, challenging behaviour, physical disabilities and others.