Seed of Hope project is launched!
Bridgwater College is pleased to announce the launch of a new mental health gardening project, Seed of Hope, a not-for-profit, social and therapeutic gardening project for people with mental health problems.
The co-operative venture between Bridgwater College and Kris Scotting, Care Consultants Ltd, will be based at Bridgwater College’s Cannington Centre which provides an ideal location for Seed of Hope, with world-class facilities including The Walled Gardens of Cannington. The project will also benefit from the horticultural expertise of the Gardens’ staff, including Jayne Alcock, Grounds and Gardens Supervisor, who originally trained in psychology and social work. Small groups will work together on projects unique to Seed of Hope, growing and working on the areas designated for the project. Time will be spent each session talking about and exploring recovery, and each participant will have the opportunity to gain a Level 1 qualification in Practical Horticulture Skills.
Seed of Hope uses the elements intrinsic to gardening such as, being more physically active, being outdoors with increased light levels, working as part of a team, nurturing plants, and growing and eating seasonal produce to improve mental and physical health. Researchers have found benefits to include reduced anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, increased socialisation and better mental and physical health.
Kris Scotting said, “I have worked with people experiencing mental distress for thirty years. Over this time I have seen gardening improve the lives of many people. People who work in this sort of project are more hopeful than those who don't, and we know that hope is one of the key elements of mental health recovery. People also spend less time isolated and inactive, and this leads to greater engagement in community life and better well-being.”
Jayne Alcock said, “I provided support and advice to people experiencing emotional distress for a number of years before retraining to become a horticulturist. I have personally felt the benefits that gardening can bring in terms of quality of life. This project is a fantastic opportunity for people to feel these benefits within a safe and supportive environment.”