A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Free 5 week wellbeing in the garden course

Gardening courses for adults
At our Hawkwood site we run ‘Wellbeing in the garden’ courses that are a day a week and last for five weeks, during the course people will:

•    Be very welcome
•    Learn and practice gardening skills
•    Work in a small supported group
•    Get work experience
•    Enjoy a free healthy lunch

We know and witness the benefits of gardening on many people’s wellbeing, this tested five week course with a focus on improving wellbeing through gardening has had great feedback from every cohort. We have extended and built partnerships through the NHS, mental health and community organisations to offer free placements on our courses.

The focus is on building a small cohort of participants to run through a course that combines practical learning with an opportunity to meet all of the NHS’s Five Ways to Wellbeing. We measure the impact of this opportunity on participant’s wellbeing and provide clear examples of ways in which participants meet all 5 of these ‘ways to wellbeing’

We are friendly teachers, growers and volunteers who look forward to welcoming people to our market garden.

A typical day includes as follows:
Horticultural learning with a City and Guilds teacher
Tasks with the opportunity to learn and practice basic gardening skills – this is physical activity in our market garden. We try to accommodate everyone’s levels of fitness, but some mobility, including bending and/or kneeling is likely to be needed. The tasks are supported by the teacher and at least one other member of staff, so there is plenty of opportunity to really learn about growing , or just to enjoy being onsite and connecting with others. Tasks are undertaken at the participant’s own pace.
Lunch – plant-based lunch is provided and learners, volunteers and staff sit together, providing more opportunity for practice and making friends.
Recap of what has been learned during the morning, with the teacher. We recognise that people collecting children from schools may need to leave early.

The teaching uses garden and food growing topics as a basis for learning new skills and is much less formal than in a standard classroom. The course is suitable for people with strategies for learning, but also for complete beginners, and for people who are not ready for formal learning, for whatever reason (e.g. trauma, lack of confidence, lack of study skills and so on).

These courses run throughout the year, usually on a Wednesday. Please contact activities@organiclea.org.uk to be put in touch with our  tutor and find out more.




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