Health, disability & well-being

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


“This place is a godsend. At the gardening project, we get back the man he was.” Mrs S, whose husband has dementia.

Trellis is a small charity which uses the simplicity, accessibility and joy of gardening to help those who are disadvantaged to improve their own lives and become happier, healthier people. Our project will benefit people whose lives are detrimentally affected by physical and mental health issues, disability and whose sense of wellbeing is diminished. The project will benefit people in three ways:

1) By providing people affected by disability, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other long term conditions with Easier Gardening taster sessions, demonstrating ways in which they can enjoy and benefit from gardening whilst taking into consideration their individual needs and abilities.

2) By providing site visits and advice sessions from a professional practitioner to small scale and start-up therapeutic gardening projects in order that they can develop their projects and improve their offer for service users.

3) By providing specialist training courses for gardeners working on or wishing to set up therapeutic gardening projects in their own communities, giving them the skills and knowledge to create successful projects of their own.

A grant of £4,550 would provide: Easier Gardening taster sessions for 150 people who need extra care and support; expert site visits and advice sessions for 15 therapeutic gardening projects; and specialist training courses for 40 gardeners working on or wishing to set up therapeutic gardening projects. We estimate that approximately 640 people in total will benefit from this project (30 people needing extra care in 5 different care settings; 30 regular service users per gardening project; and 40 gardeners running projects). This project will take place throughout Scotland with most activities taking place by the end of 2015 and completed by 31 March 2016.

Our small but highly experienced and qualified team are ideally placed to deliver this project. Since 2006, Trellis has supported therapeutic gardening projects throughout Scotland. We provide training, information, specialist advice and networking opportunities for gardening projects which support disadvantaged people. With Trellis’ support, projects are equipped to empower the people they work with to improve their lives through gardening.

Therapeutic gardening has been demonstrated by academics and health professionals, such as Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of Physicians, to have significant benefits for a wide variety of health and wellbeing problems: gardening is used to help people rehabilitate after stroke; it helps people with dementia maintain memory function and lessen anxiety; it helps people to find paths to recovery from mental illness; and it enables adults with learning disabilities to develop new skills and self-esteem. Furthermore, gardening initiatives provide sanctuaries and informal settings within often neglected or institutional communities for exercise, relaxation, reflection and social gathering.

Our support has been invaluable in sustaining and developing gardening projects that have in turn supported thousands of individuals affected by illness, disability, mental health problems, and wellbeing issues associated with external factors such as poverty, homelessness and crime.

Individuals and organisations regularly testify to the positive impact Trellis’ work has made:

“This garden in my community has given me a reason to leave my flat. Thank you deeply. All communities need this.”

“I joined the group to get a chance to garden again, but I have gained so much more. I have made new friends and met wonderful people who have made me feel totally included and not at all excluded because of my disability”

Participants at Lochend Community Garden, Edinburgh, a project supported by Trellis.


Moment of Pride

Trellis offers a service which is simple yet incredibly effective. By recognising the benefits that everyone can gain from spending time outdoors and giving people the skills to do basic gardening tasks, Trellis provides people with a route to becoming more confident, sociable, empowered and happy.

Location: Scotland, United Kingdom