A garden path to wellbeing

HOBART based community organisation Hobart Women’s Shelter is set to establish a therapeutic horticultural garden program with the help of a Harcourts Foundation Grant.

Hobart Women’s Shelter was awarded the $15,000 grant to fund landscaping and the creation of an edible garden at its 25-unit facility.

The project will enhance and increase the sense of community within the shelter and provide women and children with new opportunities to enhance their wellbeing.

Hobart Women’s Shelter chief executive officer Janet Saunders said that there were many benefits to the creation of a therapeutic horticultural garden.

“Therapeutic horticulture refers to interventions using nature or plant-related activities, such as gardening to improve participant’s psychological wellbeing,” she said.

“Parents and children at the shelter can spend fun, quality time working together in the garden.

“Available studies within diverse settings indicate that therapeutic horticulture programs are effective for reducing stress, depression, and negative feelings, as well as promoting relaxation, social inclusion, and self-confidence.”

The landscaping and the creation of the garden will be completed by the end of December this year.

It will provide benefits to 250 women and 350 children annually, and opportunities for activities such as planting, weeding and watering for women and children, as well as opportunities to connect to family and cultural backgrounds.

Harcourts Signature Group director Garry Quan said this year’s grants program aligned with Harcourt’s commitment to provide support that helped grow and enrich our communities.

“Harcourts has a clear focus on providing grants to reputable community-based charitable organisations which need funding for projects and initiatives designed to benefit as many people as possible,” he said.

“We know that horticultural therapy helps participants improve their general wellbeing, improves physical and mental health, and encourages social interactions.

“Both gardening and engagement with nature are recognised ways of improving both physical health and mental wellbeing, and can lead to real changes in people’s lives.”

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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