A capacity building and inclusive gardening program specifically designed for people with cognitive disability that enables service users and interested support workers to establish and maintain a garden within a disability service.
The project goal is to increase the capacity of people with disability (and workers) to create and maintain an accessible community hub vegetable garden, with potential to extend into a sustainable social enterprise.
The purpose of the project is to develop and pilot resources designed to develop life skills (capacity building); reduce social isolation and boredom; increase community/social interactions; increase organisational sustainability initiatives lessening its environmental impact; contribute to urban greenspaces; and provide service users access to therapeutic horticulture techniques.
We use participatory action research (PAR), as an inclusive framework with involvement of all stakeholders throughout the project. This is a way of enacting inclusivity in the project, with the ‘nothing about us without us’ philosophy. It is collaborative between the project team, people in the community, workers and people with disability to work together to develop knowledge and effect change. PAR sees people as experts in their own lives. It creates knowledge that reflects what is important to the participants for meaningful change in quality of support and work satisfaction.