Claire and Lisa set up Breathing Spaces to provide horticultural therapy to older people with support needs in August 2013. We have an undergraduate level Award in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture validated by Thrive, the leading association in this field, and Coventry University.
We have experience and training in horticulture, community wellbeing and sustainability. We are trained in permaculture, a design process that cares for people and the places they find themselves in.
We are a social enterprise, a non-profit business with a social purpose: "The company's activities will provide benefit to mainly older people in Worthing and surrounding areas, including those in residential care homes and those with dementia, but also other groups whose health and wellbeing could be improved by social and therapeutic horticulture." We were approved by the Government's regulator as eligible to become a Community Interest Company (CIC) and we have to demonstrate annually how we are benefitting the community we set out to servce in order to continue to be a CIC. Being incorporated as a Community Interest Company holds us to account and guarantees that any assets we acumulate can only be transferred to another similarly regulated organisation.
Our designs rely strongly on planting and placement of key elements, more so than on hard-landscaping and construction, to maximise the 'biophilia' effect and minimise use of non-renewable resources.
We garden ecologically ourselves and for our own health and wellbeing.
I have a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, a process for designing sustainable lifestyles and habitats. I was a film-maker for many years but then worked in Worthing for four years in the local council's Community Wellbeing team, before training in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, completing the Award and setting up Breathing Spaces with Lisa.
I am a qualified Horticulturist and Garden Designer and have worked for many years as a professional gardener.
I also co-ordinate as a volunteer the Worthing Community Allotment, where we learn to grow organic vegetables in a sustainable way.
Through this experience and my work I have become passionate about the possitive effects and benefits of Horticulture as a therapy.
Breathing Spaces and community
We are an active part of the two community centres where our gardens are based. We aim to contribute to making Worthing an age and dementia friendly town. We participate in the local Dementia Forum founded by Guild Care, Alzheimer's Society, MIND and West Sussex Carer's Support. For more information about the idea of dementia friendly communities, see Join in
We particpate in local events, like the annual Transition Town Worthing Seed Swap Sow and Grow and Mental Health Awareness Week. We welcome individual volunteers and we have worked with Community Pay Back teams and corporate volunteers, like Southern Water.
We believe that it is important to work with other local businesses and social enterprises and we eventually want to employ local trainees. We have formed a partnership with We Are FoodPioneers to grow vegetables for them to use in their community cookery sessions in Maybridge.
You can see more about how you could support us and people with dementia by following this link:
We invite you to attend your first Garden Club session with no obligation. If you like it and want more, you can then sign up and pay for a programme that includes the trial session.
Tel: 07508 178590 Claire
Tel: 07827 924151 Lisa
You can also use our contact form.
'Power of Plants' course for women, open to new participants until 18th April 2017 - see News section or ring us.
We add latest things of interest to our Facebook page. For older news items and our blog, see here
We are based in Worthing, West Sussex. We run two Garden Clubs in the community and a Community Allotment - addresses are on the home page.
Breathing Spaces Garden Therapy
Community Interest Company
(limited by guarantee)
Company Number 8825167
c/o Andrew M Wells Accountancy
99 Western Road
Lewes BN7 1RS