Horticulture provides an innovative medium for counselling to refugee and asylum seeking families. It helps to overcome the language and cultural barriers which can be difficult in conventional therapy.
Transcending the need for words, gardening provides a myriad of metaphors: Parents recognise that tending seedlings and putting down roots parallels the need to nurture their children and provide them with stability.
Many families we work with find it difficult to be involved in activities outside, feeling unsafe and threatened in an unfamiliar place. The garden and allotments are safe spaces where support and encouragement are given to enable adults and children to be active and to grow their own food; children can be outside and play safely.
Restricted incomes mean that families can be limited in their diets; the project allows them to plan and grow additional food to supplement their diet and provide fresh and nutritious meals.