Sue Jeffries – Horticulture Consultant, Author & Trainer
I am the author of Designing, Planting and Using a Therapeutic Garden which is based on my extensive work in the area of social and therapeutic horticulture over 15 years. I currently work with a range of user groups and organisations in Lancashire to deliver therapeutic gardening in community and residential settings. In addition, I am active within the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) to promote the recognition and development of social and therapeutic horticulture. In October 2023 I became Chair of the CIH’s Special Interest Group for Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.
I have developed, managed and delivered educational, social and therapeutic horticulture courses and projects across Lancashire and Greater Manchester over the last 18 years. During this time I have worked with many diverse organisations (listed below). I have also delivered several community-based therapeutic gardening projects including the Food First Growers’ Club, a community food growing project funded by the Emergence Foundation 2021-22.
- Councils – Blackburn with Darwen, Salford City, Chorley, Lancashire County
- Secondary NHS Trusts – Ormskirk Hospital, Calderstones Residential Facility
- Primary and Secondary Schools
- Colleges – Myerscough College, Blackburn College
- Business Improvement Districts – Manchester City, Blackburn
- Social Landlords
- Carer’s Groups
- Residential Units
- Charities & CICs – Defence Gardens Scheme (military veterans CIC), Start Inspiring Minds (mental health charity), MIND Tameside, Oldham and Glossop (mental health charity), RHS Bridgewater Garden
I spent a total of six years at Myerscough College in Lancashire studying firstly for my FDSc Professional Gardening and Plant Knowledge (for which I received Distinction) and then my teaching qualification – PCGE (Post Compulsory) with QTLS. Prior to my time at Myerscough I studied at Reaseheath College, Cheshire for a BTEC Advanced Certificate in Garden Design. My practical, hands-on horticultural training was gained through a year-long part time traineeship at Pendle Heritage Centre’s Walled Garden. This was organised by the WFGA.
I also have an Award in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (Mental Ill Health Services) delivered by Thrive, the national charity developing and delivering Horticultural Therapy services, and accredited by the University of Coventry. My MBA from the University of London also developed my project management and planning knowledge and skills.
I am Vice-Chair of the Organising Committee for the Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) Special Interest Group within the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. In this role I have helped to set up a STH Network for those working in the therapeutic gardens sector across the UK and Ireland.
Within the region I am a judge for the North West in Bloom annual competition and deliver workshops at the RHS Bridgewater Garden in Salford.