There are a variety of gardening options available to Blueberry trainees.
We have an on-site gardening team who work in the grounds around the Melbourne Centre, utilitsing our accessible polytunnel, raised beds and sensory garden. In addition to this we share a playing field with Fishergate School, so we host a weekly Gardening Club with children from the school which provides an opportunity for some trainees to learn suitable social interactions and build on mentoring skills.
In gardening sessions we build on skills such as tool use, health and safety, weeding, planting, and other gardening techniques. We undertake project work as well as growing and harvesting fruit and veg, allowing trainees be involved in full processes which achieve end results they can be proud of.
Woodwork & Outdoors
During our woodwork and outdoors sessions we walk across the road to York Cemetery, taking tools and equipment to our woodworking site which is in a quiet part of the cemetery. We will usually make a campfire and make tea or cook simple food on the fire. We have our lunch in this tranquil setting where we have observed the changes in season throughout the year.
Our projects are often seasonal crafts, or based around creating and improving the ever evolving site, like chopping firewood, making a wood-store, weaving fencing etc. We collect sustainable wood for our projects from the cemetery and discuss different types of trees, their uses and stages of growth. The tools we use are all traditional hand tools which help to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. These skills can be transferred to everyday life with tasks such as preparing food or gardening.
We also have a Gardening Co-op team, who work offsite in parks and gardens around York. This provides a opportunity for real work experience, as well as a chance to sustainably integrate into communities around the city.