Trellis is the national organisation for therapeutic gardening in Scotland. They provide support, guidance, training and representation for over 280 gardening projects. These projects use gardening to help 7,500 disabled and disadvantaged people improve their health, skills and quality of life each week. Currently they are working with care homes, hospitals and local and national government to help plan for improved future care services, developing Gardening Hubs and activities as a way of enabling people to improve their health and wellbeing.
The Business Challenge
Therapeutic gardening is growing in reach and popularity as a health intervention. Nationwide, however, access to these resources is normally using informal, personal networks, or by referral from a small number of practitioners. There is little cross sector or peer collaboration and sharing of knowledge. Trellis wanted to make these resources more available to everyone who could benefit, on more platforms and in every location where it is needed, and drive the development of best practice. Information dissemination and easy good practice exchange underpins the huge changes in Health & Care systems in Scotland, but it is becoming more complex. Practitioners are active, outdoor people, somewhat averse to sedentary screen time, and late adopters of technology. The company, therefore, needed a highly innovative design to answer their needs.
The charity has many stakeholders and required academic expertise to develop a database that could be manipulated to provide reports on a wide range of subjects.
Interface introduced Trellis to the School of Computing at the University of the West of Scotland to investigate a technical solution that would provide access to a database system across multiple platforms, connecting remote therapeutic gardening practitioners. This would enable gardening ‘hubs’ to take a central role in Scotland’s changing health system and help overcome key issues in geographic and professional isolation. A cross-platform database-driven collaboration solution would significantly improve connection/collaboration between geographically remote practitioners, improving the exchange of best practice and peer support.
The project was funded by a Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher.
- Therapeutic gardening is a very cost-effective way of boosting health and quality of life and helps keep people out of hospital/care settings, so reducing health and social care bills. If practitioners have access to advice from remote peers and free/low cost information and CPD, they can improve the quality of intervention on offer and increase health care savings.
- The company will be able to extend the reach of their support services.
- Gardening projects take care of local environments, enhancing neglected neighbourhoods, which brings benefits to community cohesion and safety and makes the environment a better place to live for everyone.
Please note that Interface administers the Innovation Voucher Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. All funding applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Scottish Funding Council, guidelines can be found here.