|Kings Heath Park |
Gardening for Good Health is a new pilot programme that Birmingham charity Thrive has developed to support women who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence, or rape.
It is carried out in a secure area of Kings Heath Park and the aim is to use therapeutic gardening sessions to help women who have experienced these crimes, to help them rebuild their lives and regain confidence in a social environment.
And it is already making a difference to womens' lives.
One participant commented:
"For me it’s about not sitting at home, thinking about how bad everything is.
"It’s really good meeting new people and not feeling you have to keep your horrible secret.
"I’m getting fresh air and exercise and being outside.
"I’m learning new things and being positive and creative.
"Seeing things grow is like a new beginning."
Working from the TV Gardens in Kings Heath Park, this large, fully enclosed site is the ideal resource for the project. It is secure and the herbaceous borders, water features and large vegetable plot provide a wide range of horticultural tasks to be completed such as weeding, watering, deadheading, sowing seeds and growing vegetables.
Thrive Horticultural Therapists use the garden and gardening tasks as therapy to support a persons’ rehabilitation and recovery. They will build a set of activities to help a client gardener improve their particular health or emotional needs and work on the goals they want to achieve.
The charity helps people regain confidence to go back into the community and increase their social activities.
Amanda Fields, Manager at Thrive Birmingham, said: "With our support people can improve their sense of psychological and physical wellbeing, learn new skills and undertake physical exercise with people who have had similar experiences, whilst being in a safe and secure environment.
"Each session will be run by a female Horticultural Therapist, with support from female volunteers, in the peaceful and enclosed TV Gardens, which can be locked during the sessions to ensure other people don’t enter the garden.
"Typical activities include propagation, maintaining a garden, fruit and vegetable growing and working in a plant nursery. These skills are documented at the end of each session to provide a record of achievement and they are designed to improve physical and psychological health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation, and help you to regain confidence.
This programme has been funded by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners Victims Fund so is free of charge for participants.
This programme will run from Tuesday 10th October 2017 - Tuesday, 17th April 2018 at Kings Heath Park. There will be two sessions, from 10am – 12pm and 1pm - 3pm and people can enrol for either or both of these sessions.
If you or anyone you know would like to participate in this programme please give Thrive Birmingham a call or pop in to the centre where the team would be delighted to see you to discuss the programme and enrolment, in the strictest confidence.