Workbridge is a specialist vocational centre in Northampton helping adults with learning disabilities, mental illnesses, autism or brain injuries gain in confidence and experience work in a supported setting.
Over the past 40 years, Workbridge has experienced the many benefits of horticulture and gardening to support the wellbeing of Workbridge service users.
Reconnecting with nature is good for our mental and physical health.
Workbridge Garden Centre supporting service users to learn horticulture skills
The popular Workbridge Garden Centre in Northampton welcomed back service users to sessions this year at the end of March 2021. Service users have been learning many horticulture skills alongside talented vocational skills instructors.
Helen Morgan, Vocational Skills Instructor at Workbridge said:
"We have been working on all sorts of exciting projects and looking at ways of making our horticulture sessions more engaging. Building on the success of last years ‘indoor allotment’ project at Workbridge Garden Centre, created during the first lockdown, we have expanded the areas available for growing our own fruit and vegetable plants on site, giving service users the opportunity to learn about the process of growing their own food from seed to plate."
Sessions at Workbridge Garden Centre in 2021 have included discussing and planning plants to grow this gardening year, selecting and sowing seeds and learning how to prepare areas of the grounds for sowing. Service users have been learning pruning techniques and how to feed existing plants such as fruit bushes. They have also planted lots of seed potatoes and of course the regular watering maintenance required to keep plants healthy.
"We have had some fantastic ideas from service users, including the suggestion of creating a new herb bed. One of our service users has taken this on as a personal project- over the course of a few weeks they have selected an appropriate area, dug over the ground and improvised a raised bed using breeze blocks before adding compost to improve the soil and finally planting the bed up. The herbs grown will not only be useful for meals in the Workbridge canteen or coffee shop areas but will also provide a wonderful sensory area with a wide range of textures and scents."
There are plans in the works for Workbridge to create a new cut flower area and outdoor vegetable beds for hardier crops, giving service users lots of great projects to look forward to this year!
Join Workbridge on a tour? With over 15 departments to participate in and learn life and work skills, come and find out if our centre is right for you.