Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Guest Blog Post ; The Therapeutic Value of gardening

A few weeks ago I was working with a group of our first year students who were completing a trigger for one of their modules. The trigger required them to consider a specific leisure activity and the therapeutic value of this activity for a range of occupational needs.
The group worked on swimming, gardening and creative writing. They presented in both a creative and thorough way that I was so impressed I asked each group to contribute to our blog with their findings and thoughts.
Here is  the post from the Gardening group:
What they haven't mentioned is the creative way they collected people's thoughts on gardening - they asked each one to write their thoughts on a paper 'leaf' and this was hung on a twig tree for the presentation and for the rest of the group to read and enjoy.
The therapeutic value of gardening
PBL Group: Rachael, Lucy, Fran, Elise & Keeley
Written by: Lucy & Rachael

Diamant & Waterhouse (2010) conducted research with Thrives , a national UK charity who run a social and therapeutic horticulture project to examine how gardening facilitates health and wellbeing through belonging. Findings suggested  that gardening has positive effects on members of the project and in turn in improving health and well-being of the individuals.
Whilst in PBL, trigger three gave us the challenge to look into gardening and its therapeutic value further. This posed the question "what is the general perception of gardening amongst the general public?"  . By asking family, friends and the general public what their personal views were on the topic, it enabled us to gain a broader view on the value of gardening. Below represent a couple of direct quotes that we gathered:
  • ‘Gardening takes you in the moment; you are not worrying about the past or future’
  • ’A relaxing feel while working with plants and a excellent workout’
We also looked at how accessible gardening is for all types of people regardless of ability, function or circumstance. This proved to us that there are a wide range of gardening possibilities from groups that target specific ages or conditions to a wide range of adaptive equipment available, for example long reach tools and even numerous methods to carry out the activity!
When first approached with the trigger, collectively it would be fair to say we did not realise the values gardening could have upon an individual.  Through a combination of our own input, other people's perceptions and good old academic research it is now clear that we definitely underestimated the power of the plants!
PBL Group: Rachael, Lucy, Fran, Elise & Keeley
Written by: Lucy & Rachael

Diamant E, Waterhouse A (2010)  Gardening and belonging: reflections on how social and therapeutic horticulture may facilitate health, wellbeing and inclusion
The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 73, Number 2, February 2010 , pp. 84-88(5)

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Gremlin check

Our blog appears to have rogue sentences appearing over our posts. This is annoying and I am trying to use my (limited) technical ability to resolve. If anyone has any ideas of what else I could try all hints and tips gratefully received.
Sometimes posting a new post resolves this - so this such a post. In the meantime please enjoy the Salford sunshine in our campus photo - and maybe take time to visit the 4OT suite of links to a whole host of OT groups shown in our News Feed (courtesy of David Nixon)