Gardening and belonging: reflections on how social and therapeutic horticulture may facilitate health, wellbeing and inclusion

Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73(2), February 2010, pp.84-88.

A sense of belonging is a key element in enabling social inclusion through meaningful occupations. This is evident in occupational science and social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) literature. STH is an emerging therapeutic movement using horticulture-related activities to promote the health and wellbeing of disabled and vulnerable people. How these theories interact in practice was explored at Thrive's STH project in Battersea in London. A workshop conducted with 3 Thrive Battersea's therapists examined how gardening may facilitate health and wellbeing through belonging. The article describes activities discussed by the therapists and aspects of belonging embedded in these activities. The article concludes that Thrive can be viewed as an example of inclusive practice, where a sense of belonging reduces the barriers excluding individuals from participating. The implications for occupational therapy from this rich synergy of occupational science, STH and social inclusion are considered.

Subject terms:
social inclusion, therapeutic horticulture, vulnerable adults, wellbeing, disabilities, gardening;
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