This September national garden therapy charity Thrive goes global as it launches its online training which can be accessed from anywhere in the world!
The charity has created this new tier of training and education to meet increased demand from people wanting to learn about Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.
The last few years has seen a growing interest in the Green Care movement – which is defined as the use of plants and animals to support health, wellbeing, recovery and social inclusion. Social and therapeutic horticulture comes under this umbrella.
As the system of primary and social care continues to face a combination of budget cuts and increasing demand for services, new models of social prescription are coming on-stream to meet the needs of various groups, including people with learning disabilities, mental ill health and dementia.
To support large numbers of individuals and organisations who would like to begin using, or improve the use of, horticulture for health and wellbeing, Thrive is introducing a dynamic, high-quality and accessible programme of online education.
The courses will be practical and informative and draw on decades of experience of setting up, delivering, monitoring and quality assuring countless Green Care in the UK and internationally, not to mention the charity’s 20 year partnership with Coventry University.
And while technology can’t yet replicate the experience of soil under the fingernails, Thrive uses films, virtual reality presentations and interactive technologies to immerse learners in an educational experience.
The new e-learning courses will complement Thrive’s existing face-to-face programme and there will be a series of free and paid-for courses.
From September 2017 there will be three initial courses available:
- The Principles of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. This programme looks deeply into the fundamentals of STH. Participants will learn how to articulate consistent answers to questions like "what is STH?", and "what isn’t it", "what are its foundations? how does it work? and who does it help?". This will be useful in providing clear and consistent messages to commissioners, referrers and other stakeholders, including clients and their families.
- Goal Setting in Green Care. This looks at the principles and practice of goal setting and how Green Care practitioners can set goals in a way that complements practice by placing the people we support at the heart of the therapeutic process; enabling them to make informed choices about various elements of programmes offered and their involvement in them.
- Award in STH. This is Thrive’s accredited qualification which is completed following participation of any of the client-specific courses on the charity’s specialist knowledge programme.
Dr Sean Morrissey, training and education officer at Thrive, said: "The courses are really interactive and easy to use – they involve lots of videos, multimedia presentations, and some 360 degree video!
"There are great opportunities for interaction with the course tutors and other course participants. We’ve designed the courses to be fully accessible, even for people who normally don’t like technology, and importantly they will enable people across the globe to access our highly regarded training.
"Health and social care professionals, commissioners, groups of volunteers and anyone working in, or with an interest in Green Care and gardens for health, will be able to access our training
"New courses are planned for the future."