Pots and Petals is a therapeutic gardening programme for young people aged 13 to 16 with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
They youngsters are likely to be attending special needs schools or respite care centres. Many will have difficulty communicating and some may have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex needs or mental health difficulties.
Children attend one day a week for up to 52 weeks (times to be agreed with the school / respite care centre).
Each session lasts for two hours and will be broken down into activities that last for 10 to 15 minutes.
A horticultural therapist uses the natural environment to provide seasonally-based activities to stimulate the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound of young people who are functioning at a basic level (3 months old and up).
Adults supporting the young people can complete activities with or alongside them so they can use and re-enforce the programme in their own environment.
It builds on intensive interaction (which teaches the pre-speech 'fundamentals' of communication) through relaxed interactive activities and supports forms of communication, (eg attention, eye contact, turn taking, play and touch).
"He’s like a different person to the one we see at school," support worker.