Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator Training Programme

Programme Overview:

The Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator Training Programme course provides learners with the skills, understanding and practical experience of working with plants and gardens to assist in achieving positive cognitive and behavioural changes in young people, teenagers and adults. 

At the end of the Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator Training Programme, learners will be able to offer Social and Therapeutic Horticulture programmes and sessions to young children, teenagers and adults from all different backgrounds. 

Learner Profile 

This course will be of relevance to those who have experiences of engaging with nature, wellbeing, social and/or health care practices, and who are interested in developing skills as Social and Therapeutic practitioners. Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) sessions can be offered to clients with specialized learning needs, and can support mobilisation and revitalization in a wide range of sectors, communities and organizations. 

The course will be of particular interest to those who currently work formally in horticulture or at grassroots, or who work with people with diverse social and emotional learning needs, and who demonstrate an aptitude for integrating horticulture and care practices, for training and development purposes. 


Objectives of this programme:

At the end of the Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator Training Programme, learners will be able to:

  • Discuss and evaluate the different approaches and models that have been developed to involve horticulture as an intervention
  • Describe the theoretical frameworks which help to illustrate how and why horticulture can assist in the achievement of cognitive and behavioural change and the development of social and emotional learning
  • Understand how Social and Therapeutic Horticulture can help to discover one’s own learning styles and help people to work with them
  • Understand the significance of Social and Emotional learning
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of coaching and facilitation and the ethical requirements inherent in both
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, deliver and evaluate Social and Therapeutic Horticulture sessions
  • Demonstrate how to market Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and Coaching as a Business
  • Demonstrate how to apply for grants in order to promote Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and Coaching sessions and programmes

Key features of the Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator Training Programme:

  • Practical hands on training in horticulture
  • Individualised tutor support
  • Tutors with specialist skills and experience
  • Experience of learning in the environment of Festina Lente which reflects best practice in equine facilitated programmes and horticultural techniques
  • Access to current research on the benefits of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture as it relates to both the benefits to people and clinical outcomes.

Course information

Course Fee – The fee for this course is €1,950.  

 A non-refundable deposit of €250 is required to confirm your place on the course once we have confirmed your application has been approved. Please note your place is only secure when the deposit is received –without exception full payment is due 45 days before course commencement.

Training Support Grant

If you have a skills gap that could prevent you from applying for a job, the Training Support Grant (TSG) funds quick access to short-term training if you are on a jobseekers payment.  Please foll0w this link for details

Ideally, course participants should:

  • Be over 25 years of age
  • Hold a third level qualification in a social and/or health care field or related area
  • Have a proven background in the advancement of one’s own professional development
  • Application Process may include an informal interview
  • Student must have basic IT word processing and email skills e.g. google document or Microsoft word to write and submit assignments 

Course Accreditation:

This is a QQI Special Purpose Award Level 6 Certificate in Life and Workplace Coaching (6S3153). Students will also be certified by Festina Lente as a Social & Therapeutic Horticultural Facilitator

Please note that learners must attend at least 17 days of the 18 days across the modules. In the event that more than one day is missed from any of the modules, learners will be required to repeat the day/s the following year which may delay official graduation from the programme.