Growing Together

Growing Together was a gardening project with a difference. As well as providing practical skills and techniques, particularly organic and permaculture principles, it encouraged the participants to make connections between what is happening in the natural world and in their own lives. It traces a horticultural and emotional path from loss to recovery.

Three groups have successfully completed the course. These are some of their comments:

"The course uses horticultural practice as a framework for learning how to nurture yourself and others. I have learnt much more about how the natural world relates to and influences our own growth and development and our connectivity with other people."

"The course has turned out to be not at all what I expected, although it has been brilliant. I was expecting for it to be the traditional sort of volunteering which involves helping other people out, but I have been learning alongside my fellow participants. Everyone is valued for what they bring to the project."

"For the people in the group with brain injuries it was helpful, I think, because it showed that we don’t all work in the same way and that they didn’t need to be limited by their brain injury. It feels like a very safe place where you don’t have to care about the things that hold you back. Everyone is just happy to be there, getting on with it. It became the highlight of my week."

The free six-month course aimed to get experienced and not so experienced gardeners together, along with people who have suffered brain injuries, so that all the participants could share their knowledge and learn both about gardening and about brain injury. It provided an opportunity for participants to help other people as well as develop their own skills. The aim was to support Headway clients to increase their gardening knowledge and enable them to move into voluntary or paid employment.

To find out more about the course, contact Simon Lacey on 01223 576550 or

The Hospital Brain Injury Co-ordinator became someone who absolutely understood how I felt, I didn’t need to explain. I could talk about my fears and worries. She was such a great support through the difficult days, but could also celebrate the small step successes, which was important to me.