We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service. We will provide sustainable training in horticulture and be in a position to support the amazing work already being done within Scottish Prison Services.
Starting Step will help to establish gardens that provide sensory stimulation that will further enrich the environment and allow us to grow vegetables for our café and other members of the community.
It is possible to have vegetable gardens, sensory gardens, quiet seating areas encouraging wildlife and anything else that the students and local communities feel would benefit them. We would encourage wish lists, after all every garden is a blank sheet with the potential to grow vegetables, fruit trees, soft fruits,
We know that there are many benefits for people working outside amidst beautiful plants. There is now significant evidence to show the benefits of gardening in the alleviation of so many ills, including mental and physical health of all ages.
Starting Step will be able to provide outdoor spaces that give the students and local communities an enriching experience and allow them to join in with the joy of gardening at whatever level they want and are able.
We will have the ability to be flexible and design gardens that fulfils the needs for both for individual, wider community and Starting Step. We want to ensure that we do everything to include those who want to learn and who will benefit from working in a garden.
There are other far reaching benefits that include the environment, the local and wider community.
We have our own horticulturalist joining the team. Nik Thomson is a lifelong horticulturalist and educator who initially trained at Pershore College of Horticulture and has worked with many organisations including, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the National Trust for Scotland and The National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens.
In addition to a wide-ranging horticultural experience Nik has a passion for horticultural training and education especially where linked to social inclusion and community.
The Hidden Garden...
We are really looking forward to working with budding horticulturalists to develop productive and educational outdoor spaces whilst improving the biodiversity of our natural environment. We will use each opportunity to train those involved in horticulture whilst improving the environment for all. There are enormous benefits for everyone working with plants. Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.