first network get together

A dozen people came together on Monday for the first Green Care Network get together; to explore The Nurture Project near Fakenham, find out about each others’ involvement and interest in green care and to discuss how the Network might develop in the coming months.

Hosted by The Nurture Project’s Director, Calyn Kilpatrick, the afternoon included a tour of the Project’s woodland and walled garden- both places used in the therapeutic programmes run at the project.

Kym Cooper from Central England Co-Op provided refreshments and talked about how the Co-Op might help green care projects and the Network more generally.

‘It was great to see people from different projects keen to find out about each other’, said Nigel Boldero, one of the initiators of the Network.

A discussion about possible developments included a number of ideas which will be looked at further by the Network’s Coordination Group:

  • Looking at community gardens linking into ‘open garden’ events in towns and villages, so as to broaden out the appreciation and support of them by visitors to domestic gardens.
  • Staff teams from the Co-op and other employers being used to help out with practical tasks at green care projects.
  • Developing customised training for green care projects so as to more directly address their needs.
  • Having more ‘get togethers’ at other green care projects so as to engage and learn from each other.
  • Developing a system for enabling clients to progress between projects as their needs change
  • A potential ‘strategic partnership’ with the Co-Op to help support the development of the Network, and possibly make start up funding available for expanding or creating new green care projects in areas where these don’t exist.

‘I was really encouraged by the positive atmosphere’, says Nigel. ‘And the prospect of bringing in resources and expertise from the Central England Co-op is really exciting. We will hopefully be able to progress these ideas with an eye on making a significant leap forward in the New Year.’

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