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February 18, 2018


Alan Titchmarsh teams up with Beth Chatto Educational Trust for charity fundraiser -

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheltenham High Street improvements begin this summer -

Saturday, February 17, 2018

LDA Design to deliver a Big Town Plan for Shrewsbury -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mayor’s £6m fund to boost green spaces & reduce plastic waste -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Get your hands dirty with an RHS apprenticeship -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Kubota UK launches new zero turn ride-on mower -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Piet Oudolf at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

RAF100 Centenary Garden seeks sponsors -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Show of resilience from invasives experts at industry conference -

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Celebrating business success: The Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Palmstead Nurseries launches new staff training academy -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Seminars introduce new guidance on tree selection for green infrastructure projects -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

30th birthday celebrations for Holland Landscapes -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New GreenMech sub 750kg QuadChip 160 takes over 70% of tree surgeon Kevin Patton’s work -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Green-tech wins Supplier category in Pro Landscaper Business Awards 2017 -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Conservation apprenticeships available in the Yorkshire Dales -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Alan Titchmarsh to open new exhibition at Woburn Abbey marking the bicentenary of Humphry Repton -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ransomes continues long partnership with Continental Landscapes -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Industry exhibit revealed for RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wildflowers embraced by the University of York -

Monday, February 12, 2018

Thrive Birmingham starts prison gardening programme


In November, horticultural therapists from Thrive Birmingham will start a gardening programme for prisoners with a mental illness at HM Prison Hewell.

Funded by *Health in justice, Thrive will work with prisoners with mental health support needs in the prison garden once a week for a year.

Amanda Fields, regional manager for Thrive in Birmingham, said: “The prison already has a good outside space and we are looking forward to working with inmates who are not in the best of health, helping them reap the benefits structured gardening can bring.

“We will be working in small groups and the prisoners who are part of the programme all have specific mental health support needs.

“In the first few weeks we will spend time getting to know everyone and focus on encouraging the inmates to plan what to do with the garden. This is good for their focus and motivation and we hope in the first few weeks they will learn new skills and embrace creativity.”

Allowing the prisoners to have a choice in what they want to do and who with can help improve relationships, and can be especially powerful in an outdoor setting. Some of the outcomes Thrive expects to see over the 12 months include improvements in physical health and fitness levels from tidying the garden, digging, weeding and raking.

Planting autumn or spring flowers in borders or pots shows creativity and taking pride in this task will  result in instant gratification and a feeling of accomplishment and achievement. This therapeutic value and feeling of wellbeing that people get from gardening, growing food and the outdoor environment has a strong and positive impact on out physical and mental wellbeing.

Harvesting vegetables that have been grown from seed promotes fitness, self worth and achievement leading to improved self-esteem.  Sowing seeds and eventually potting them on improves concentration and teaches new skills. It can also help with numeracy and literacy as seeds are counted and plant labels written.

Watering and caring for plants during the summer months encourages responsibility, shows focus and motivation and by making sure they are growing well will lead to satisfaction.

Thrive has worked in secure settings before and research from this period indicated that rehabilitation and personal development are the two main functions of horticultural activity in secure settings. Work skills training and social development were also seen as important factors.

The prison service said:  “When you take some really rough and big prisoners who are doing some very careful tasks, like pruning or potting up or pricking out, the prisoners have time to think when they’re out there in nature and fresh air.”

The context of confinement is a powerful influence on perceptions of activities. In the past, participants described some of the emotional benefits that they had experienced; a clear message was the difference between the experience of being confined indoors and being outside in a work environment.

Thrive is also looking for volunteers to help with this programme. Volunteers would need a DBS check and satisfy the relevant security conditions imposed by the prison. Please contact Thrive Birmingham on 0121 293 4531 or email if you are interested.

*Heath in justice is the UK’s leading independent provider of health services in prisons, sexual assault referral centres and youth offender establishments.

One Response to “Thrive Birmingham starts prison gardening programme”
  1. Cordula Schmandt says:

    I am currently the horticulture teacher at HMP Wandsworth and would be very interested in receiving some more information about your programe or in linking up with you. If you are also interested, I would be very grateful if you could respond using my above email address.

    with warm regards

    Cordula Schmandt