South Tipp Substance Misuse Garden Features At Bord Bia Bloom

Chief Officer of HSE/South East Community Healthcare Grace Rothwell with Addiction Counsellor Jenny Shields and Regional Co-ordinator Zoe Doheny at the horticulture project in the South Tipperary Substance Misuse team centre in Clonmel.

A Garden developed by the South Tipperary Substance Misuse team is to be displayed at the Bord Bia Bloom event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The Garden is named The Colour Purple.   The HSE service, based  at Western Rd. campus in Clonmel, has been utilising a horticultural project as part of their recovery work with users of the service.

The Tipperary garden will be in the Gardens and Horticulture area which is divided into nine sections and “The Colour Purple” is one of nine exhibits in the “Postcard Gardens” portion.

The HSE service also has outreach facilities in Carrick on Suir, Cashel and Tipperary Town to promote wellness and recovery and to improve the overall quality of life for individuals and their families struggling with substance misuse.  Bord Bia Bloom, at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, is open daily from 9am to 6pm and runs until June 5th.

The  Co-ordinator of South Tipperary Substance Misuse Team Sinéad O’ Mahoney Carey describes the project saying – 

“The social and therapeutic horticulture programme in Clonmel is a very important part of substance misuse recovery. Our ‘Bloom’ focused postcard garden project has been developed in the hands and minds of service users in recovery. ‘The Colour Purple’ portrays life stories and lived experiences, where the service user absorbs the evolution of knowledge and a willingness to embrace the light. This garden encapsulates a substance misuse journey of recovery, depicted from left to right in the planting scheme. It illustrates a pathway of discovery on the journey of social and therapeutic horticulture. While this involves hard work, physical activity and learning, there is always time too for a cup of tea.”

The HSE acknowledges the contribution made by Social Therapeutic Horticulturist Ruth Farrell,  Substance Misuse Counsellor Eileen Bergin, Outreach Worker on substance misuse,  homeless Shane Burk, the Tipperary Education and Training Board, Youthwork Ireland Tipperary and the Glenconnor Garden Centre in developing the Garden.