Planting tomato seeds is one of the creative therapies the NSPCC is using when working with vulnerable children and families in the Tidworth Service Centre.
Delivered from their base in Drummer Lane, trained children’s practitioners have used the hands-on method to help children and families connect with each others and those around them. The process of building or growing something can help young people connect with their own feelings too.
The children planted during Time Together sessions, which provide an opportunity for parents and carers to enjoy fun and engaging activities with their young children every Tuesday morning, while also making friends with other families at the same time. Planting sessions were also held as part of Lunch Club, involving practitioners visiting local primary schools to offer children of military families support in an informal environment.
Planting and caring for the seeds provide young people supported by the NSPCC service centre with an opportunity to engage with their physical environment.
The inventive approach was made possible thanks to Wyevale Garden Centres. As part of their ongoing support for the charity, the group donated packets of seeds and growing kits to assist young people in their therapy sessions.
Gail Jordan, children’s services practitioner at the Tidworth Service Centre, said: ” All the families enjoyed the activity of planting the seeds and have shared back with practitioners about how their plants are growing.
“Some have shared that they hope to harvest their plants and sell seeds at school fairs next year to raise money for the Tidworth Service Centre.”
The NSPCC has benefited from Wyevale Garden Centres’ ‘Gardens for Good’ programme, with 25p of the entry fee to its restaurants’ play areas being donated to help fund therapy services for children who have been abused, where play and garden activities can help in their recovery. Since the beginning of the partnership in 2012, Wyevale Garden Centres have donated over £800,000 to the charity.
Stephen Murphy, Wyevale Garden Centres’ chairman, added: “As a business, we recognise the power of the garden and our ‘Gardens for Good’ initiative supports charities where gardens or the act of gardening can bring physical and emotional benefits to people.
“We are pleased that our seed donation was so beneficial to the therapy sessions run by the NSPCC. It’s fantastic to hear how they’ve made such an impact on the young people that planted them.”