Essex Care Consortium - Individual Empowerment

Access Adult Learning Day Centre
Richard at work


Student tending to the Allotment


Setting up the garden


Growing for life stall

Contact details

Clare Stalker – Manager
Email: clarestalker@ecarec.co.uk

Calli Black – Assistant Manager
Email: calliblack@ecarec.co.uk

Admin: info@ecarec.co.uk

Address:
Essex Care Consortium Ltd.
Malson Rd
Birch
Colchester Essex
CO2 0NU

Tel: 01206 330308
Fax: 01206 331811


Growing for life - Working Together LogoGrowing for Life - part of Access Adult Learning Daycentre

'Growing for Life' is our horticultural project in 11 acres of grounds. We believe in the therapeutic value of horticulture and our students benefit from fresh air, engaging with natural elements,an increase in stamina and a sense of collective activity. ‘Growing for Life’ offers our students a restorative balance that diminishes anxiety and behaviour that challenges, and contributes to improved social interaction and respect for the natural world.

 

We believe in the therapeutic value of horticulture and our students benefit from fresh air, engaging with natural elements, an increase in stamina and a sense of collective activity.

 

‘Growing for Life’ offers our students a restorative balance that diminishes anxiety and behaviour that challenges, and contributes to improved social interaction and respect for the natural world.


Our Students have lots of energy and they want to be busy doing things. With our growing for life project we can offer them satifying and productive activities

There are many advantages to being situated on the Birch site as the grounds offer the possibility of a variety of activities:

  • woodlands that enable students to experience conservation first hand
  • extensive allotments for vegetables and flowers
  • two polytunnels for propagation and growing
  • more formal gardens that help develop pride and an understanding of presentation
  • interaction with our chickens offers opportunities to care for others

These activities develop our students’ skills and interests, utilise their energy and promote learning. Students develop a sense of achievement and responsibility in growing the produce for themselves and our community. Specialist staff support students who agree what roles they will take involving planting, tending and harvesting fruit and vegetables, and producing preserves.We offer learning through practical experience in a fulfilling and fun way that enhances well-being, and we offer a work environment for people who find it hard to sustain employment within mainstream activities.

There is an organised process to joining the group involving assessment, support and guidance by our horticultural staff.

This project is a catalyst for many types of learning – we cover literacy, numeracy, problem solving and health & safety as well as the horticultural subjects.

 

Everyone can work and learn individually, but the group also functions as a team with the more established members acting as mentors for the new students. A process of ‘managed expectation’ is created so that tasks are tailored to each individual, allowing them to build on their sense of achievement and self-worth.

 

Students are encouraged to design their own timetables to create a combination of activities that suits their interests and abilities: our heated outdoor swimming pool, new sensory garden, trampoline facilities and tented pavilion offer diversity within the grounds, and we use Access’ minibuses, which opens the door to surrounding communities. Students are also able to experience working externally and this is developed through the local network of supported employment agencies & colleges within the Colchester & Braintree areas.

We offer learning through practical experience in a fulfilling and fun way that enhances well-being, and we offer a work environment for people who find it hard to sustain employment within mainstream activities.

If you are interested in finding out more about our ‘Growing For Life’ activities, please contact our project manager.