Refer someone to Grow for Life

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“I’ve been really impressed by the impact Grow for Life has had on my patient by greatly boosting his self-esteem.

The practical elements of gardening had a gentle therapeutic effect and the supportive team gave him the confidence to secure a job which previously felt unattainable”

Alex, local GP

A PDF version of the referral form can be downloaded here

Who can refer?

Grow for Life accepts referrals from a range of professionals including GPs, social workers, support workers, case workers, counsellors, mental health practitioners and local charities. There is also an option to self-refer. The first step to commence a self-referral is to contact us on 07729906223 or info@growforlife.org.uk and request a chat.

Why Refer?

Grow for Life gardening sessions provide a gentle therapeutic intervention for people affected by low confidence, depression, anxiety or isolation.

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Grow for Life provides a safe, welcoming and informal environment for trainees to connect with other people, grow in confidence and learn a new skill. The opportunity for social interaction alongside the benefits of time spent outdoors performing gentle gardening tasks result in a positive impact on mental health and an improvement in general wellbeing. The programme also has a significant role in restoring motivation, a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging. Grow for Life sessions also assist in improving social, people and communication skills. In addition, trainees are given the opportunity to gain a Level 1 horticultural qualification where suitable.

Where possible Grow for Life supports trainees to move on to do work-focused gardening work. In fact, Grow for Life gardening sessions routinely act as a catalyst for progressing onto volunteering, work-experience, study, paid work or other meaningful activity. This is because trainees are empowered with a restored sense of purpose and motivation, whilst equipped with increased confidence, better social and communication skills and improved wellbeing and mental health.

Who is Grow for Life suitable for?

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Grow for Life gardening sessions are suitable for adults experiencing low confidence, anxiety, depression or isolation

Referrals for other conditions and situations will also be reviewed on a case by case basis, including people impacted by bereavement, trauma, a variety of mental health problems and those in recovery from addiction. Please note we are not able to accept referrals for individuals still in active addiction.

Grow for Life accepts referrals for men and women aged 18 and over. There is no upper age limit. Currently trainees range in age from 18 to 60. Later this year Grow for Life will be piloting a women-only group to accommodate those who would benefit from an all-female environment.

What does a typical Grow for Life session entail?

Gardening sessions are attended by small groups of trainees (typically four to six) who garden alongside Grow for Life’s friendly gardeners and mentors. The team ensure sessions are fun, informal and safe whilst supervising and encouraging trainees as they learn new horticultural skills.

A typical gardening session lasts 3 hours with a break in the middle for refreshments. This is an important part of the session when we chat and share, offering a listening ear and encouragement.

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Examples of gardening tasks that trainees are invited to undertake include:

• seedbed preparation

• vegetable, flower and fruit planting, maintenance and harvesting

• pruning

• general garden maintenance

Trainees are encouraged to do tasks that they enjoy and feel able to do before moving on to learn how to undertake new tasks.

Trainees are encouraged to attend a regular weekly slot, at the same time and location each week. This continuity allows the group of trainees and Grow for Life team members to get to know each other well over the weeks.