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Social Therapeutic Horticulture

The Warrah environment provides opportunities for you to experience the therapeutic benefits of farming and gardening, through hands-on practical activities. Our bushland environment, sensory gardens and biodynamic farm are great resources for the work we do and to the people we support.

What is Social Therapeutic Horticulture?

Social therapeutic horticulture is the process of engaging with people using horticultural activities. Our programs area facilitated by trained staff and aim to develop your individual goals.

Social therapeutic farming and gardening uses the experience of plants, gardens and animals as a vehicle to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, communication and thinking skills and confidence, and inclusion.

Social Therapeutic Horticulture promotes the outdoors as a safe and secure place to develop the ability to socialise, make friends and learn practical skills that will help you develop independence. For further information on Social Therapeutic Horticulture, refer to Cultivate NSW  and Thrive.

Through participation in our programs, you are engaged in meaningful activities, which develop a wide variety of transferable skills.

You can develop the following skills through Warrah’s farm and gardening programs:

  • Focus – special awareness, attention to detail and sequential processing
  • Teamwork – awareness, appreciation and collaboration with others
  • Work ethic – taking responsibility and owning the process
  • Confidence – self-belief and increased wellbeing
  • Empowerment – leadership and creativity
  • Autonomy – initiative and self-direction.

The following Social Therapeutic Horticulture programs are offered at Warrah:

Nursery Skills – This program is responsible for all the propagation for Warrah Biodynamic Farm, from seed through to planting. In an average year, the nursery skills program produces over 150,000 organically certified seedlings for the farm and for selling to the public at our onsite Warrah Farm Shop.

Farm Skills – This program involves hands-on engagement in farming activities to directly support the operation of the Warrah Biodynamic Farm. Tasks are varied and include planting, weeding, composting, harvesting, pruning, animal husbandry and general farm maintenance.

TAFE Training – In collaboration with Hornsby TAFE, Warrah offers training in Career Pathways and Employability Skills for our participants. This program assists participants to develop practical skills, confidence and gain hands-on experience through tangible projects related to gardening and landscaping. Previous projects include garden makeovers, landscape construction, carpentry and fencing. The current project involves the development of a dedicated Horticulture Therapy Garden. This program is part of our wider suite of services delivered through Community Support Services.

For further information on these programs and to enrol, please contact Alida Pruys, Community Services Manager on 9651 2411 or apruys@warrah.org.au