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The 2019-20 academic year at Thrive Birmingham has started with the trial of a brand new qualification for some of our young client gardeners.

The team in Kings Heath Park have welcomed new starters and returners from Special Educational Needs schools studying for horticulture qualifications.

Six students from Oscott Manor, a school for 11 to 19-year-olds with autism as their primary diagnosis, are trialling a new qualification from the OCR, the UK qualification awarding body, which will offer a more practical-based qualification.

Thrive Birmingham Horticultural Therapist Rachel Jayes, who works with the Oscott Manor students, said: `This new qualification is going to make gardening more accessible to more students with multiple disabilities.

`It is also a broader qualification with more flexibility on the teaching modules and gives us more freedom and creativity in how we teach the students. We expect all six students in this OCN group to “thrive” and on go on to achieve this qualification in July 2020.’

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The start of term has coincided with plenty of produce in need of harvesting in our gardens. `We had a fantastic harvest meaning the returning client gardeners have been able to see the fruits of their labour,’ said Sarah Bowers, Thrive Birmingham’s Regional Centre Manager.

Thanks to everyone who bought tomatoes, beans, courgettes and fruit and in the process raised nearly £200 in support of our horticultural therapy work in Birmingham.

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