Our aims, which were unanimously supported by those attending the first ASTHP conference in Pershore in November 2012, are:
- To develop and promote the profession.
- To be the representative body for Horticultural Therapists and practitioners of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- To promote, maintain and improve the theory, practice and benefits of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.
- To forge links with practitioners and similar organisations at home and abroad.
The Association’s longer term aim is to establish a voluntary professional register as a way of ensuring that registered practitioners are appropriately trained and comply with a set of professional standards. We believe this is important to protect our service users, to reassure referral agencies and service commissioners and to promote further the benefits of the work we do.
In the shorter term we hope to establish a range of networks, both geographic and functional, to provide peer support to practitioners, and also a mentoring scheme for people considering or just starting a career in horticultural therapy or STH.