This Hot Topics seminar on the health and social benefits of gardening took place on Wednesday 2nd September 2015. The event was inspired by HMP Rye Hill's organic growing project, launched in May 2013 with Garden Organic, offering therapeutic horticultural intervention to offenders with a history of substance abuse.
Robin Baxter, the project's Master Gardener Volunteer Co-ordinator, will spoke about his work at HMP Rye Hill and the fantastic results that the project is delivering. He was joined by Paul Evans, the prison's Substance Misuse Strategy Manager.
We also had a presentation from Stephen Yip, Founder and Director of children's charity KIND, and Liverpool-based beekeeper Andrea Ku.
Stephen spoke about KIND's interactive garden, kitchen and roof garden allotments that have brought to life their centre’s education programme, giving their children the opportunity to gain vital hands-on experience and seeing plants and garden inhabitants in their natural habitat. They also teach children and families where their food comes from and how to grow and tend their own from seed-providing them with practical hands-on experience that impacts into their everyday lives.
Andrea dedicates her life and work to urban biodiversity and how to preserve, conserve or make plans to enhance its existence and function in the city. She runs citizen science projects, grows and harvests food, and designs and works with biodiversity gardens and community projects such as allotments and wildlife spaces. At this seminar she spoke about beekeeping in Liverpool and surrounding areas.