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Vulnerable Essex Residents to Benefit from ‘Plant Care, Self Care’ Initiative

We’ve teamed up with Essex County Council to support adults with learning disabilities and autism who may be struggling to manage their self-care during these times of extended social isolation.

The Plant-care, Self-care Wellbeing Project sees selected adults benefit from the gift of a house plant, delivered directly to their door. Our fabulous OT, Megan,  explains: “The ongoing disruption to daily routine imposed by the pandemic can have a profound effect on mental health, especially on individuals living with autism and learning disabilities.

“A plant needs daily care and attention in order to thrive. By gifting a house plant, in addition to introducing a purpose, we are shining a light on the importance of maintaining a daily routines in order to flourish.”

The use of plants to promote good mental health is known as therapeutic horticulture and is a well-established occupational practice, used to  promote recovery and wellness. As part of this Project, each plant is accompanied by an information leaflet which, not only provides information about how to care for the plant, but also promotes self-care, giving advice and practical guidance.

Sport For Confidence is working with Essex County Council to prioritise residents who are no longer able to attend day services, people known to adult social care and those who have experienced loss and bereavement.

Tom Doughty, Project Lead and Coach, adds: “For most people, the government directive to ‘stay home’ has driven a significant change to daily routine. Some people, especially those with additional needs, find it difficult to adjust. This project is an excellent example of how Sport For Confidence, backed by the Council, is working with a range of community services to introduce new and innovative ways that engage and support individuals through this pandemic and beyond. A house plant might seem like a small gift but for those benefiting from this project they can, quite literally, provide a lifeline.”

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