Grow your houseplant collection with help from The Glasshouse, a social enterprise creating opportunities for ex-offenders through horticulture.
Their plants start life in the glasshouses at HM Prison East Sutton Park in Kent, where ex-offenders grow and nurture them. While working on the project, they train for a level 2 RHS horticultural qualification, learning everything from propagation to design. The programme is a stepping stone – away from past mistakes and the prospect of reoffending, towards a fresh start and employment in the future.
As well as the practical horticulture skills, hanging out with plants has some amazing benefits for people involved in the project too – as it can for everyone. Being close to nature and greenery can bring productivity levels up, anxiety levels down, fill the air with more oxygen and be a positive influence in many other ways.
The Glasshouse continues to support ex-offenders who join their project beyond their time in the glasshouses too, helping the women keep moving forward upon release. The two things which most often lead to reoffending are lack of secure housing and employment. So, they help in linking people up with job placements and housing.
Add to your houseplant family with one of their lovingly raised plants and know it’s already been a force for good.
Meet The Founder
Kali Hamerton-Stove and Melissa Murdoch are the co-founders behind The Glasshouse. Melissa first noticed disused greenhouses and polytunnels at East Sutton Park prison when she was helping with a returning citizen programme. Together, they developed their idea for using these spaces to run a horticulture social enterprise, training women in prison and ultimately reducing their chances of reoffending.
Knowing disused glasshouses aren’t unique to this one prison, they hope to take their programme to more locations in the near future.