Horticultural Therapy for injured Service personnel

Lance Corporal Jim Hill

After the heralding success of a pilot, Horticultural Therapy is now part of the rehabilitation offering at the New Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Stanford Hall.

It started out as a three year pilot at the DMRC Headley Court, set up in 2014 by HighGround to test Horticultural Therapy as an intervention to be used in the rehabilitation of injured Service personnel.

An independent service evaluation by Zoe Morrison, Professor of Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Greenwich, proved it to be highly successful and they now consider Horticultural Therapy to be an important part of patient care. Horticultural Therapy has now been integrated into the range of rehab options available for clinicians to treat injured Serving personnel.

The pilot was funded by The Soldiers’ Charity, the Westminster Foundation and several other generous donors. In the 3 year period, it delivered 4,072 sessions of Horticultural Therapy to 1,316 patients. The Surgeon General, the Defence Authority for Healthcare in the Defence Medical Services Department now recognise Horticultural Therapy “As a valuable component of the holistic package of rehab interventions which DMRC delivers to its patients.”

From successful pilot to fully operational

Andy and Jane at Stanford Hall
High Ground at Stanford Hall, DNRC. Photo by Charlie Hopkinson ©

Following a grant from the Chancellor’s LIBOR fund and support from Help4Heroes, HighGround has successfully transitioned from Headley Court to the new DMRC in Leicestershire and the service is now fully operational.

Since September 2018, Andy Wright, Therapeutic Gardens Manager, and Jane Taylor, Horticultural Therapist, have continued this legacy by providing the Horticultural Therapy service for DMRC as part of their rehabilitation programme for injured soldiers, sailors and airmen.

All patients who come to Horticultural Therapy are referred by their Occupational Therapist as part of an individual rehabilitation programme. All the patients at DMRC are still Serving their country.

Further information on health and wellbeing

This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed month of May for all things relating to health and wellbeing. The website also provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date with information on new initiatives as they go live.

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