Why are the HSE running garden centres?

I almost dropped dead today when I walked into a garden centre (advertised from the road and complete with tills and prices etc.) operated by the HSE.

Its a training centre for special needs people and from what I could make out there was about 4 HSE staff around along with the special needs individuals of which there was about 5 or 6.

I am all for integrating these people but surely they can be given work in schools, colleges etc. rather than a white elephant garden centre.

The garden centre had a small selection of plants and hasn’t a snowballs chance in hell of being a commercial success given what appeared to be high staff levels and all the other associated costs.

And I thought the HSE was there to save lives… :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Operated by the HSE or funded by the HSE?
They are two different things.

Is the only thing I can find related to gardens on the HSE website.

I don’t buy this whole assume the worst until it’s proven otherwise thing.
Schools, colleges and hospitals are all institutitonal environments. The people employed there are there to do specific jobs and are generally highly trained and thus expensive, as are the buildings in which they operate and the equipment used there. For both those reasons I wouldn’t consider schools, hospitals or colleges suitable environments for a make work or community integration scheme.

Contact with plants and nature, the consumption of home grown food and light physical activity on the other hand all have proven health benefits, and are all very relevant for a healthcare organisation.