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Thrive and Notcutts Garden centres are working together to develop a new free to access online course to help people experience the health and wellbeing benefits of gardens and nature.

The Cultivating Wellbeing course is set to launch this autumn and will encourage people to use their gardens and spend more time connecting with nature as a tool to restore wellbeing and improve physical and psychological health.

This development of the course and ability to offer it for free to all learners, has been made possible with the generous funding from Notcutts, a family owned garden centre group, who are a long-standing supporter of Thrive’s horticultural therapy work as well as our education programmes, having offered the bursary for the Award in STH Programme Development since 2016/17.

We are passionate about the benefits that gardening can bring to mental and physical health, and we are delighted that, through this free online course, we can give everyone the opportunity to learn and experience these rewards

Caroline Notcutt, Vice-Chairman of Notcutts Garden Centres

Caroline Notcutt, Vice-Chairman of Notcutts Garden Centres, said: 'At Notcutts, we have a fantastic link to health and wellbeing through gardening as my Great-Grandfather, Roger Crompton Notcutt, was advised to work outdoors due to ill health.

`It was then that his passion for horticulture grew and Notcutts Garden Centres was founded over 120 years ago. We are proud that Notcutts is founded on wellbeing and we are pleased the benefits of gardening are now being recognised and shared more widely.

'We are passionate about the benefits that gardening can bring to mental and physical health, and we are delighted that, through this free online course, we can give everyone the opportunity to learn and experience these rewards.'

Nottcutts are a valued corporate supporter of Thrive and hold many fundraising activities to support the work that we do. The partnership between Thrive and Notcutts is one built on a mutual understanding of the value that can be found in getting out in nature, and creating a space that can provide restoration and peace in the hectic world in which we live.

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Thrive CEO Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn Rossiter, Thrive's CEO, said: `Spending time in nature and gardens has so much value and there is much research to support how it can boost our wellbeing. As we celebrate our 40th year, we want to see more people tapping into the health benefits and for gardening’s therapeutic benefits to be more widely recognised.’

‘Cultivating Wellbeing in Gardens and Nature’ will cover a range of ideas that link to cultivating our own wellbeing in gardens and nature. This includes looking at our historic connections to nature, what nature and our gardens actually are and how we use them, and how we can identify our own connectedness and affinity to nature.

There will be a range of tasks, and an opportunity to explore how you connect to nature, hopefully offering some new ways you might want to get outdoors and explore all the amazing things that our gardens and nature can offer.

The course is set to launch on the ThriveLearn online platform this autumn and will be promoted across the Thrive and Notcutts websites.