Throughout summer 2021 we’d been listening to our communities about the kind of activities they’d like to see once restrictions began to ease. From these crucial conversations we formed Seeds of Healing in the autumn, which became part of our Community Creatives programme of activities, courses and clubs that aim to bring communities together, to build friendship and understanding through collective creativity.

What’s Seeds of Healing about?

In these tough times, we wanted to create opportunities to reconnect, get inspired and feel optimistic. We think that together we can grow and become more confident and resilient, nurturing our curiosity and creativity through culture – which is where Seeds of Healing came in.

“I don’t think I’ve ever attended a course that achieved a sense of community and friendship as much as this one did. It was such a healing creative space, and this space created such a profound connection between us all.” – Seeds of Healing Participant

Funded by Garfield Weston, Seeds of Healing was a hybrid six-week course, in partnership with Herbal Blessings and Global Learning London. It took place in person here at Rich Mix, offsite for a visit to Phytology Community Garden and online via Zoom sessions. 

Life during and after the pandemic was at the front of our minds when curating this course. We worked with Global Learning London during a taster session for the course to facilitate conversations around a number of themes encouraging discussion and reflection on healing during the pandemic.

This was complemented by training in practical herbalism skills and knowledge with Herbal Blessings’ Rabiah Mali. Rabiah explained to us how words and activity have equal footing when coming together in a healing space and creating herbal products.

The programme in action

We brought together 22 people of a diverse range of backgrounds and life experience with a range of interests and experience of herbalism. Across six weeks, it was incredible to see community cohesion at work, as we exchanged stories as a group, getting to know one another.

The series started with an open afternoon that aimed to reconnect each participant to their inner herbalist. We encouraged nurturing conversations and open listening and brought everyone together through a range of thoughtful activities to share knowledge and provoke curiosity, including sensory scent and breathing exercises. We recorded conversation via a Visual Minutes artist, alongside a long table conversation that captured our discussions with descriptive drawings. These helped us plan for the course based on what mattered most to participants. 

In the following sessions we made our own compostable plant pots in order to sew organic herb seeds of Hyssop, Thyme and Borage. We visited the Phytology Garden at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve and took part in a guided local herb walk, finding the plants and trees that can be used for medicine. We explored simple ways of connecting to our intuition and exploring its relationship with our creativity, connection to nature and medicine. 

To mark the end of the series, we made our own herbal tea bags and we collectively created a tea ceremony for everyone to take part in. It was a privilege to see how the group, full of people from different walks of life, came together for this special ceremony. It was filled with laughter, tears, hugs and respect for each of their healing journeys so far.

What did people take away?

“How to interact better with people, where there is real listening and hearing and accepting advice. I absorb the ideas due to being open to it and learning more deeply.– Seeds of Healing Participant

There is no such thing as weeds – everything has its purpose and use.” – Seeds of Healing Participant

Realising my own knowledge, giving it space to grow and cultivating it. An environment to trust in our own natural methods.” – Seeds of Healing Participant

Relating to other people who see this value of growing, earth care and healing.” – Seeds of Healing Participant


This programme was supported by Garfield Weston.

The Herbal Blessings Clinic is a community run herbal clinic that runs clinic, workshops, walks and retreats to provide holistic herbal health and teaching for the community.

Herbal Blessings Clinic Facebook / Herbal Blessings Clinic Instagram 

Global Learning London works with children, young people and their wider communities, to cultivate optimism and action for a more just and sustainable world.  With the belief that a kinder, more equitable world is possible, one where people and planet thrive to their full potential and beyond.

Global Learning London Website / Global Learning London Twitter / Global Learning London Facebook / Global Learning London Instagram