Horticultural therapists reveal how outdoor projects help to support physical and mental health
Horticultural therapist Thomas Erskine enjoys a “sense of connection” when he works outdoors. Being wholly absorbed in an activity – taking in the immediacy of the environment – enables him “to lose the frenetic noise of a speeding world”.
Erskine runs gardening projects for people with learning disabilities and physical and mental health problems. He began his social care career in residential settings but found the environment frustrating and lacking meaningful activity. “I have always felt that social care is at its best when it’s focused and activity-based,” he says, “as these are often the times when people loosen up and start to have a more positive focus.”