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  • 1. Careers in social and therapeutic horticulture From getting in to getting on There is no one route that can be taken to a career in social and therapeutic horticulture and currently no one course that will cover everyone's needs. The diversity of jobs in this sector means that there is a different emphasis on different skills and qualifications for each gardening or horticulture project; therefore there are a number of routes that can be taken to gain the skills required for any given post. What is social and therapeutic horticulture? Horticulture and gardening offer a unique range of activities that can be used to enable people to build the skills and confidence to change their lives. Participation in an appropriately selected programme of horticulture or gardening can improve or maintain physical, psychological, social, cognitive or vocational abilities. The history of social and therapeutic horticulture can be traced back many centuries, although it wasn't until the twentieth century that its potential for use in a more structured way was understood and the term horticultural therapy was coined. Social and therapeutic horticulture is therefore often described as a young profession and this is evident when considering the professional training structure. A changing role Prior to the development of courses in social and therapeutic horticulture, experience of working in the field coupled with experience or a formal qualification in an allied subject may have been sufficient to secure a job or promotion. However, more and more employers are demanding multi-skilled professionals who have both experience and a formal qualification, ideally in social and therapeutic horticulture. This reflects the increasing need for practitioners who can not only develop relevant programmes for their clients, but also manage staff and volunteers, secure funding, draw up detailed proposals for developing the project and promote their work to other professionals. Some means of gaining experience in these often diverse fields are short term and relatively low cost, such as attending a short course and undertaking volunteer work at a social and therapeutic Thrive Briefing horticulture project. Others may involve gaining accredited qualifications meaning more commitment of time and money, and Sheet no: are dependent upon the availability of courses in the area. 3
  • 2. Training and development routes Overseas information The following sets of options are appropriate for most people who contact Thrive for advice on careers in social and therapeutic Associations in horticulture. Horticultural Therapy www.hort.vt.edu/human/ For people coming into the profession with a horticulture profht.html background: · Attend a training day in social and therapeutic horticulture The American · Attend a training day relating to a specific disability group Horticultural Therapy or disability awareness Association · Gain experience by working or volunteering at a project – 201 East Main Street, contact Thrive for a list of projects requiring volunteers in Suite 1405, Lexington, your area. KY 40507-2004, USA · Take a social and therapeutic horticulture course that leads www.ahta.org to a formal qualification (there may be exemptions from parts of the course for existing qualifications or experience) Department of · If you have horticultural experience but no qualification Horticulture, take a horticulture course that leads to a formal Kansas State University, qualification Watershall, Manhattan, · Attend a horticulture course that increases existing Kansas 66506-5506, horticultural skills e.g. a person qualified in nursery USA production could broaden their area of expertise through a www.oznet.ksu.edu/hortt course in amenity horticulture or garden design. herapy/ For people from a social or healthcare background such as The Canadian occupational therapy or nursing: Horticultural Therapy · Attend a training day in social and therapeutic horticulture Association or a course relating to horticulture CHTA Head Office, 70, · Gain experience by working or volunteering at a Westmount Road, Guelph, horticulture project. Contact Thrive for a list of projects Ontario N1H 5H8 requiring volunteers in your area www.chta.ca · Take a social and therapeutic horticulture course that leads to a formal qualification (there may be exemptions from Horticultural Therapy parts of the course for existing qualifications or experience) Association of Victoria Inc · Take a social care course that leads to a qualification at a 39 Wetherby Road, higher level or in a specialist area. Doncaster, Victoria 3109 Australia For people coming from school or college, or wanting a career www.greenweb.com.au/g change: arden/html/htav.html · Attend a training day in social and therapeutic horticulture, to gain an understanding of the subject and to meet people working in the field · Gain experience by volunteering at a horticulture project. Contact Thrive for a list of projects requiring volunteers in your area. · Take a social and therapeutic horticulture course which leads to a formal qualification · Take a course in horticulture or social care that contains an option module in social and therapeutic horticulture and leads to a formal qualification.
  • 3. Training courses There are more courses in social and therapeutic horticulture Japan Herb School available now than ever before, so it is important to investigate 1-13-18 Higashi-Kanda, carefully to see whether a course is appropriate to meet your Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 101, needs. To supplement expertise working at a project, a one-day Japan course may 'fill a gap' with training in a particular area, without (runs primary course in the need to undertake a longer course. Study the course Therapeutic Horticulture prospectus carefully to determine what will be covered and who developed in conjunction will be involved (and what expertise they have) in running the with Thrive) course. Asking about the following will help you get an overall feel for the course: Japan Horticultural · How long has the course run? Therapy Society · Can you speak to someone who has taken the course? 5-12-5-401 Roppongi · Who is the validating body or external examiner? Minato-ku · How often is the course re-validated and updated? Tokyo, Japan · How many students have progressed through the course? · Are there opportunities for the student group to meet if it is a distance or flexible learning type course? · What modifications have been made to the course since it was first introduced? If there is no course to suit your particular personal and work circumstances, don't despair – some of the career options identified above might be appropriate. Accredited courses The following are accredited courses in social and therapeutic horticulture known to Thrive. Other courses might be developed which will be available in the future. · Professional Development Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Coventry University. Tel: 024 7679 5957. The above course is run in partnership with Thrive; details are available on the Thrive website www.thrive.org.uk or from Coventry University. · Professional Development Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Askham Bryan College, York. Tel: 01904 772211 · Foundation Degree in Animals and Horticulture as Therapy, Myerscough College, Lancashire. Tel: 01995 642211. Option Modules These courses contain modules in social and therapeutic horticulture that can also be attended as short courses: · BSc Landscape Management Degree Courses, Reading University. Tel: 0118 931 8071 · BSc Occupational Therapy, Coventry University. Tel: 024 7688 8728.
  • 4. Thrive Training and Education Programme The programme offers a variety of opportunities tailored in a series Information of days to encompass individual learning needs. The training days are held in three regions; South, Midlands and North, and should have something for everyone — whether you are recently Events: conferences and employed, newly qualified in horticulture, health and social care training events are listed managers/practitioners and those who have numerous years of at www.thrive.org.uk experience and knowledge. Courses: listings in Horticulture Week and Continuing Professional Development other specialist care magazines; annual Some professions ask the qualified individual to undertake Educational Supplements continuing professional development (CPD) through conferences, of Horticulture Week for training events and research. As social and therapeutic horticulture mainly horticultural is self regulating, it is good practice to continually update skills courses; College of and knowledge, keep training records to prove consistency and Occupational Therapy provide evidence to employers and/or funders. www.cot.org.uk (Tel: 020 7357 6480) and the Thrive’s quality assurance scheme “Cultivating Quality” can help Thrive training and to demonstrate evidence of continuous improvement both at a education programme. project level and also CPD for individuals working within the field of social and therapeutic horticulture. Jobs: advertised in Community Care, The Guardian, and Horticulture Week www.hortweek.co.uk Also on the Thrive website www.thrive.org.uk

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