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About Us


At Green Sparks we believe anyone can experience poor mental health when their social or emotional needs are not met. We all had an opportunity to witness this during the pandemic, when feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness became a new normal for many of us. These emotional experiences were sensible, sane and proportionate to the situation we found ourselves in. For the majority of us, the answer to these difficulties was not found in a diagnosis or a prescription, but in reaching out for human connection, getting out in nature and getting involved in meaningful activities. At Green Sparks we want to bring this formula for recovery to people in need and offer them skilled help to make it part of their everyday lives. We want to offer help while outdoors and doing, rather than asking people to sit indoors trying to find words for what they are experiencing. We want to be part of supporting people to understand that they weren’t broken to begin with, and helping them learn how to find comfort and calm.


The services we offer are based on an approach called Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH). This combines the healing benefits of being in nature with a managed supportive environment and skilled help. We find STH helps us and the people we work with manage mood, combat isolation, learn new skills and build connection with nature.


This is our first year of operation and we are starting by developing interventions for children. We operate in West Dorset and travel to children at school or at home, rather than asking them to come to us. We work in school or domestic gardens or community green spaces. At present we are offering the following services;

  • Home and school based support with transport where required for children whose mental health needs are making it hard for them to attend school (also known as Emotionally Based School Avoidance or EBSA)
  • Inclusion support in school for children who have social, emotional or learning needs that are making it hard for them to manage in class
  • Small group work and one to one sessions for children who need support to improve their levels of emotional resilience, social skills and/or emotional literacy


Co-Director and Lead Practitioner Naomi Bush is a qualified and registered social worker with fourteen years of professional experience in child protection and safeguarding, seven of which have been while based in West Dorset. She is an experienced practitioner of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Motivational Interviewing, Relationship Based Practice and Restorative Practice.

Co-Director James McLynn has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Sports Psychology and nine years of professional experience in providing activity-based interventions to children displaying challenging behaviour, primarily those already attending Pupil Referral Units. He is also an expert by experience which he uses to inform service design and intervention.

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