Outcomes and progress of participants

Measuring the impact of our Therapeutic Horticulture Programme

In recent years, we have used the Warwick Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale (WEWS) to measure the self-reported wellbeing of volunteers. However, the WEWS proved to be more complicated than was appropriate for some people with learning difficulties and/or brain injuries. From January 2019 we started using The Personal Wellbeing Index developed by The International Wellbeing Group (Cummins, 2013).  This method is scientifically robust, used internationally, is appropriate for individuals and populations / groups but, importantly for us, has questions and scoring systems that is appropriate for people with a range of intellectual difficulties.

Our first Personal Wellbeing Index report will be published once the data has been collated. (Please check back after data collection in January 2020.)

“What does coming to the Gardens mean to you?”

  • Being part of a team, learning and gaining experience of gardening and having a work ethic and meeting new people.
  • It gives me a couple of hours to unwind, chill and I leave feeling happy
  • I enjoy coming to the garden to meet and socialise
  • Being around nature, in good company and a supportive environment which helps me feel better
  • I get to spend time with people whose company I enjoy. I believe in the mission and the good work of Martineau Gardens. Get the opportunity to learn of other people’s problems and aspire to become a more empathetic person
  • It gives me my independence and more self confidence
  • It’s a safe place for me to be. It’s a big green hug whenever I come here and I can see the lasting contributions I have made. The hardest thing to do is go home
  • I meet different people and enjoy the work
  • I look forward to coming to the gardens. I feel good about myself when the session is over and I feel like I’ve achieved something.
  • Gets me out of the house
  • I enjoy doing something that is useful to other people and meeting my friends and getting involved gardens with the jobs that need doing
  • It gives me a sense of belonging. It gets me back to nature. I love growing plants and working outdoors in a lovely green environment. It gives me a healthy lifestyle and gives me the chance to meet and talk with lots of different people from different backgrounds. It is like an escape from the pressures of life.
  • Meeting people with the same interests. Being active, Getting rid of tiredness and improving my stamina. Learning about plants.
  • It helps me get out of my thoughts and into the world more. It helps me listen and learn to be social in a safe place.
  • Looking forward to something
  • It means meeting new people and learning new things
  • It means a lot to me. It feels like a good job

Extracts from interviews with participants on the Therapeutic Horticulture Programme