Horticulture A Social Enterprise - Cheswold Park Hospital Cheswold Park Hospital

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Horticulture & Social Enterprise

The horticulture programme at Cheswold Park Hospital is available to all patients, using therapeautic intervention through horticulture to engage and enthuse patients in a variety of horticultural tasks. These could be simple tasks such as the sowing of seeds, potting on plants and planting out, to building raised beds and heavier work such as cultivating the soil.

   The horticultural resources at Cheswold Park Hospital include a 14m x 8m polytunnel and an 8m x 6m potting shed.

                     

This year the concentration has been on the growing of vegetables, creating a sensory garden and planting up the hanging baskets that adorn the front of the hospital.

                              

Future plans to progress the horticultural opportunities for the patients are to include the establishment of a social enterprise.  This will provide the service of an offsite provision for patients to attend to promote the social inclusion of patients and for patients to gain a horticultural qualification through meaningful occupation.  The enterprise will also be offering commissioned placements and work based placement opportunity.

The benefits of a sustained and active interest in gardening include:

Better physical health through exercise and learning how to use or strengthen muscles to improve mobility

Improved mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement

The opportunity to connect with others - reducing feelings of isolation or exclusion

Acquiring new skills to improve the chances of finding employment

Just feeling better for being outside, in touch with nature and in the 'great outdoors'

Social and therapeautic horticulture is the formal name given to the process of using gardening, plants and horticulture to help individuals develop.

 

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