- MeTura in the UK
MeTura: Back to the roots
MeTura is an international project aiming to improve the lives of adults living with learning disabilities by encouraging family gardening and cooking as a way of supporting ongoing learning and independence.
Gardening and cooking are activities that provide great opportunities for learning and practicing the skills needed for independent living. They provide adults with learning disabilities with opportunities to continue lifelong learning in a social family setting, through activities that the family can easily support.
The project ultimately aims to develop toolkits and resources to enable families and educators to make the most of the lifelong learning opportunities that gardening, and cooking can provide, It will give insights into the social and therapeutic benefits of these activities and show families how they can help loved ones with a learning disability prepare for a more independent life.
Funded by the EU, this Erasmus Project will last for three years and see Thrive working with other not-for-profit organisations in Slovenia, Croatia and Italy.
The project so far
1st International Meeting
Over the last 6 months we have been gathering information from Adults with learning disabilities, their families and educators and activity providers who work with these adults, about their thoughts on approaches, opportunities and barriers to life long education. We are currently wanted to understand the current opportunities for life long learning for adults with intellectual disabilities and their families, the kinds of training and resources that families and educators need to support this kind of learning, and how gardening and cooking can be used to encourage self-directed learning in the home environment. The reports below summarise the findings from the four partner countries.
- IO1 – Investigating the current opportunities for lifelong learning for adults with learning disabilities and their families in their local environment and their interest in continuing lifelong learning at home in a family setting. Read the summary of the findings here. IO1 summary synthesis report_UK
- I02 – Understanding the skills and resources needed by educators to support and encourage self-directed (andragogical) lifelong learning for adults with learning disabilities and their families. Read the summary of the findings here. IO2 Summary synthesis_UK
- IO3 – Identifying best practice and the most effective methods for motivating adults with learning disabilities and their families to engage in lifelong learning in a social setting. Read the summary of the findings here. IO3 – Summary of Synthesis report _UK
- IO4 – Understanding the potential opportunities, obstacles and therapeutic benefits of using family cooking as a method of encouraging self-directed (andragogical) lifelong learning for adults with learning disabilities in a family setting. Read the summary of the findings here. IO4 Summary of the Synthesis_UK
- IO5 – Understanding the potential opportunities, obstacles and therapeutic benefits of using family gardening as a method of encouraging self-directed (andragogical) lifelong learning for adults with learning disabilities in a family setting. Read the summary of the findings here. IO5 Summary of the Synthesis report_UK
Many thanks to all the families and educators/activity providers who contributed to these questionnaires!
The next step in the project is to identify the best methodologies and approaches for providing lifelong learning support in gardening and cooking for adults with learning disabilities and their families. This will guide us in developing the tools, resources and training needed to support these activities.
• June 2019 Social media posts introducing the project and appealing for survey responses. This was incentivised with free seeds and a prize of a place on one of our training courses for all who completed surveys.
• In June 2019 we contacted 42organisations delivering either education or activity based services to adults with intellectual disabilities with an introduction to the project and appeals for completing our survey questionnaires. This approach was incentivised with free seeds and a prize of a place on one of our training courses.
• Between October 19 and March 20 87 people visited the Thrive website page about the Metura project
On 26th of May 2021 Thrive held their National Conference. This was to benefit those working alongside and with adults with learning disabilities and was held online due to restrictions in place at the time due to Covid. The conference featured Damien Newman the head of Training and Education at Thrive giving a talk on the benefits of working on green spaces and how these activities could promote further learning as well as increased well being for those taking part in them. Mark Emery then presented a seed sowing exercise to demonstrate what adaptions could be made to the activities, such as sourcing the tools required to carry them out, by using materials found around the house or saved from the recycling bin. There was then time for participants to look through the resources created through the project and voice their thoughts on them, followed by a period of time for questions and answers at the end.
On Saturday 10th of July 2021 Thrive opened their Trunkwell gardens to a number of adults with learning disabilities. As well as taking part in gardening activities overseen by Thrive’s Training and Education Team, participants also tried out guides in meal preparation using produce in our specially adapted kitchen. Invaluable feedback was given on the resources made available from both those taking part and those accompanying them on the day. Tours of the site where also enjoyed and those taking part got to either eat or take hope what they produced on the day.