Meet Sara Kopp - our horticultural therapist.
Sara is currently commissioned by Green Health Reading to research, design and implement the phased development of a project based around the vision of developing a City Farm in Reading for local people within our community. The first phase is designed around health and well-being.
She has always been passionate about nature and the great outdoors and won her first award as an 11 year old for growing sunflowers! She studied landscape architect at Kingston University. Over the years Sara has gained qualifications in care and teaching and has experience in working with clients with learning difficulties and mental health challenges. These experiences have given her deep insights into personal development and a greater understanding of psychology and human behaviour.
One of her main ambitions is to pass on the therapeutic benefits of horticulture and nature to all – especially those at a disadvantage.
She is a strong believer in the power of horticulture to unite and transform both people and places – to provide spaces where friends come together – where communities unite and where nature weaves it magic.
In parallel she has developed and managed numerous community based horticultural therapy projects that have delivered significant benefits to her clients – including projects for Shaw Trust and Reading Borough Council.
Sara worked with Shaw Trust on a project funded by the pioneering mental health charity eco-minds. The project offered horticultural therapy to people challenged with mental health. The project provided a holistic approach to well-being via learning and participating in growing vegetables using organic principles and practices. Clients also learnt how to become self-sustainable by growing organic vegetables for themselves and eating a healthy diet. Introducing much needed nutrients and fibre into their daily diets. Which in itself improves mental health.
Many clients were able to reduce the support they needed from other services and had their medication reduced because of their improved health. Some clients progress into volunteering work, with some moving into horticulture and care.
Link to Sara's Website