Providing Horticultural Training for Adults with Learning Disabilities.
How Blooming Gardeners came to be
Blooming Gardeners was formed to take on the management of an existing garden project for adults with learning disabilities in Easter Ross after NHS Highland funding was withdrawn in March 2019. The project had been running successfully for nearly 20 years and was very highly valued by the gardeners and their families and carers, who were deeply upset at the prospect of it ending.
Following consultation with the affected families, other interested individuals and local councillor Maxine Smith, Blooming Gardeners was established as a Community Interest Company (CIC) SC643783 in October 2019. In accordance with its constitution, Blooming Gardeners aims to maintain and improve the health and wellbeing of individuals with potential exclusion issues through involvement in horticulture.
What we provide
We provide a safe environment in which the gardeners can flourish while acquiring a range of transferable skills in horticulture and enjoying a ready-made social group of fellow gardeners. The work is active, healthy and takes place in beautiful surroundings, promoting both good physical health and emotional wellbeing. The gardeners also learn about the environment and how to protect it through discussion with the horticultural trainers and through the example of the environmentally-friendly gardening practices in use. They develop a pride in their work and achievements. Knowing that they are also making a difference in the local community, through the beautiful floral displays they create, further enhances their sense of self worth and efficacy.
The day-to-day running of the project is undertaken by three salaried part-time horticultural trainers who work closely with our gardeners. The project runs 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year.