Maria and Jane
If you are new to social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), thinking about a career change, volunteering or simply interested in finding out more, this is a good place to start!

If you are new to social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), thinking about a career change, volunteering or simply interested in finding out more, our 'Introduction to STH practice' course are a great way to start your journey.


In 2004, Thrive were involved in a large-scale survey of social and therapeutic horticulture projects in the UK. The results showed that around 25,000 people were accessing STH at least once a week at one of almost 1000 projects.

While it is unlikely that a great deal has changed since then, 2016 saw a real surge in interest from clinicians, researchers, policy makers, media and those of us who garden in every day life. What this shows is that the evidence is becoming harder and harder to ignore and the underlying mechanisms that make gardening so good for so many, better and better understood. New models of funding and changes to the structure of the health and social care systems mean that STH and other 'green care' interventions could play a very important role in promoting health and well-being in the coming years. Gardening as therapy is a low cost, holistic intervention that can provide a wide range of benefits with almost no side-effects.

You can find out more by exploring a small selection of the recent documents aimed at influencing policy below:

Careers and training in social and therapeutic horticulture

Unlike other behavioural interventions such as occupational therapy or speech and language therapy, there is no College or professional register of horticultural therapy practitioners. This means that people find many different routes to career in STH and because of the diversity of STH provision in the UK, there is no one course or combination of skills that will cover everyone's needs. Each job or project will place a different emphasis on a combination of different skills.

That said, Thrive's extended learning opportunity Award in STH Programme Development - is available for professionals and practitioners in green care settings.

Jobs at other organisations

We share Green Care vacancies at other organisations to promote social and therapeutic horticulture.

Find out more


In addition to, or alongside a formal qualification, it is useful to gain some experience, perhaps as a volunteer at a social and therapeutic horticulture project.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Thrive or if you would like to find out more about STH provision where you live, please contact us using the information below

Find out more

For more information about working in social and therapeutic horticulture contact the Thrive Information Service on 0118 988 5688 or email the Information Service.

Read about the career journey of a few other STH practitioners.

For a great practical and informative introduction to benefits of gardening for health and well-being, the role of the therapist, careers advice and information about how to get involved locally, sign up for one of our Introduction to social and therapeutic horticulture practice workshops today

Find jobs in the sector

Jobs at Thrive and other organisations
Jane O Neil smiling in garden Charlie Garner 2019