Botanic Garden provides therapy and green fingers

Posted by am74 at Jul 05, 2012 12:45 PM |
New programme helps gardening skills bloom for people with disabilities

With the support of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Botanic Gardens Conservation International has awarded the University of Leicester Botanic Garden a grant to help it enhance its social role. 

The new funding will allow the Botanic Garden to host clients from Mosaic Disability Services, a city and county based charitable organisation.
The programme involves a series of workshops in which visitors with disabilities can acquire gardening skills and knowledge of different types of plants, including culinary and medicinal herbs.

The workshops also enable them to make connections between the Garden’s global collection of plants, gardening, the importance of biodiversity, and their childhood or life before injury. 

The quiet, outdoor environment is therapeutic and the sessions encourage tactile experiences. It provides an opportunity to come together as a group to learn and experience, with a common shared interest first, and the fact that they have a disability second.

The Director of the Botanic Garden, Dr Richard Gornall, said “By taking on this challenge, the Botanic Garden finds itself in the vanguard of a development that many agree is critical to the successful engagement of botanic gardens with their host communities.”

Located in Oadby, three miles south-east of Leicester city centre, the University’s diverse botanic garden has been used for scientific research and education since it was established in 1921.

The unique 16-acre site houses a variety of landscape features, including a restored Edwardian garden, rock gardens, a herb garden, an arboretum area, and a series of glasshouses.
 
Notes to editors:
 
For more information contact University of Leicester Botanic Garden
Stoughton Drive South
Oadby, Leics., LE2 2NE
Phone/fax: 0116 271 2933
Email: botanicgarden@le.ac.uk

 

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