Blossoms at Larne Lough specialises in using Nature-based Therapy to increase health & wellbeing and decrease stress. It is run from a purpose-built therapy garden on the shore of Larne Lough. The main service is their 8-week nature-based therapy course. The main referral groups for the course are those dealing with workplace stress, and groups who are seeking an alternative to talking therapies. Blossoms also delivers one off seasonal workshops and mini courses.
Mid and East Antrim
When did the project start?
The garden was created in February 2013 and by May that year it and up and running (with around a year of planning before then). In 2015 a pilot programme began with the Public Health Agency; designing, developing and delivering a nature-based therapy course. The outcomes of the pilot were extremely positive, with the courses being delivered to over 400 people.
Who is involved (partnerships and collaborations?)
The two main organisations we are working closely with are the Public Health Agency and Inspire Wellbeing. We also work with Vital Nutrition, the locally the South Antrim Community Network. Over the last number of years, we have also been working closely with groups focusing on veteran welfare.
Who runs/manages the project?
Liz Curtis and Maureen Hanvey – a mother daughter team. Liz is passionate about using Horticultural Therapy to target work place stress, and help balance the growing over-engagement in technology. Her passion is in finding practical and enjoyable ways for everyone to engage in nature based therapy, on a daily basis.
Maureen has dedicated her entire working life to horticulture, gaining over 30 years’ hands on growing experience. After working in commercial growing, she now focuses her energy and experience on therapeutic programmes, sessions and workshops in the therapy garden. She brings with her a wealth of wisdom and knowledge that is truly unrivalled.