Miracle-Gro helps Trailblazers behind bars | Love The Garden

Miracle-Gro helps Trailblazers behind bars

Geoff Hodge's picture
By Geoff Hodge, Botanical Expert (BSc, MCIHort)

As part of our community outreach activities to promote the benefits of gardening and growing, we continue to reach out into society to see where we can help. Our latest project is to support the Therapeutic Mentoring Gardening (TMG) sessions being offered to young ex-offenders by the charity Trailblazers Mentoring.

Trailblazers Mentoring works with young people in the last 6 months of their sentence to prepare them for release, and continues to work with them for 9 months after release into the community. They have recently opened a new project inside a prison that rehabilitates young people using horticulture.

The project is in its early days, but after a supply of Miracle-Gro composts and plant foods were delivered, growing started in earnest. Despite cold weather, the staff and young people were determined to grow successfully and even hauled their plastic greenhouse in and out of their windowless workroom every morning so that seedlings could benefit from whatever light was available.

The Trailblazers charity has been mentoring more inmates than ever. Participants have been planning the garden on paper and constructing the beds, paths and ponds. They have been growing seeds of herbs, vegetables and flowers to grow in their new garden.

Participants on the course have also been carrying out a detailed trial of Miracle-Gro Flower Magic. Bringing beauty and fragrance to the middle of a prison is something that prison staff and young people all appreciate.

As Lee Willows, CEO Trailblazers Mentoring, says: “The young people that we support all have great potential, but have often had very difficult lives before entering prison. The Scotts Miracle-Gro project has given them the chance to shine, to learn and grow - not just flowers, but an interest in the environment and the wider world. I have no doubt that this project is changing the lives of the participants for the better. This is a fantastic project! Thank you Miracle-Gro.”

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