Spotlight Grant: GIY Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) programme

Spotlight Grant: GIY Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) programme

Posted on February 13, 2017

An anonymous donor with The Community Foundation for Ireland has given €112,000 to GIY Ireland for a three year GIY Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) programme. GIY’s STH Programme will use food-growing to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disadvantage, disabilities and physical and mental health issues in Ireland. Due to the generous donation the GIY Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) programme will be funded for 3 years.

STH refers to the process whereby plants and gardening are used as a mechanism through which health and well-being can be fostered within an individual. The beneficial effects of STH are varied and multi-faceted as reflected in an ever increasing body of research.  STH can be used with a range of groups including those experiencing social exclusion, people experiencing mental ill-health, elderly people, children at risk and disabled people.

The STH Programmes main Objectives and Outcomes are:

  • Help to establish horticulture as a therapeutic tool in Ireland and promote its use within the GIY network and among healthcare professionals
  • Train approx 120 healthcare professionals (e.g. occupational therapists) in its use – run 4 training courses each year at GROW HQ
  • Create training tools and programmes that can be used to roll out STH programmes by other community groups and healthcare organisations.
  • Deliver a range of STH programmes directly to people living with disadvantage, disabilities and physical and mental health issues.  2 x 12 week programmes each year. to target groups e.g.
  • Physical health – e.g. acquired brain injury
  • Autism, intellectual disability
  • Mental health – e.g. suicide prevention, Men’s Shed
  • Disadvantaged / Marginalised Groups – e.g. traveller community, Direct Provision Centres
  • Outreach – visit 2 community food growing projects per month (24 per year) to provide introductory workshops in STH and/or direct to service users