Keen gardeners amongst our wounded, injured and sick community reaped the rewards of their hard efforts and have gained a qualification in Practical Horticulture thanks to a course run at Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House.
Help for Heroes, through its partnership with City & Guilds, launched a course earlier this year which offered WIS the skills and knowledge to successfully grow their own vegetables from sowing seeds through to harvesting them. It was led by H4H Horticultural Therapist, Lucy Thorpe.
Tedworth House has a thriving fruit and vegetable garden complete with a greenhouse and raised beds. Six wounded heroes, serving and veterans, learnt skills such as planting out, preparing ground, pruning, using a mower, maintaining turf or constructing a path. They were handed their certificates at a special ceremony held last Wednesday.
Veteran Paul Collins, a PTSD sufferer, was amongst those receiving their qualifications. Paul, a former Sergeant in the Royal Artillery, said: “The course was so relaxed which really helped me because I need that relaxed environment to thrive. The enthusiasm just oozed out of Lucy which was contagious for the rest of us.
“I do not handle crowded places very well because of my PTSD so being outside in the garden, at a place like Tedworth House, surrounding by just a few people who really understand your background, is incredibly therapeutic.
“I wanted to do the course because I am moving to North Wales soon and want to be self-sufficient, growing my own fruit and vegetables. The course has given me not only the knowledge, but more importantly the confidence to know I can succeed in this.”