Chelsea flower show hosts garden designed to help survivors of torture

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The healing power of horticulture for survivors of torture is to be celebrated at this year’s Chelsea flower show in a garden also promoting the work of a charity at the forefront of challenging the government’s Rwanda deportation plans.

The garden, one of the most politically themed yet to appear at the annual event, will be relocated afterwards so it can be used as part of the therapy work undertaken by the human rights charity Freedom from Torture (FFT).

Materials used include plants that are themselves survivors – able to thrive and remain beautiful in hostile conditions – and which are planted in ways designed to stimulate happier memories of homelands. A communal bread oven is aimed at bringing people together to share stories.

FFT, which warned during the court challenge to the Rwanda plan that torture survivors would struggle to disclose their experiences because of the “breakneck speed” of the policy, intends to use the garden as a platform to reach a new audience. Last month the charity condemned a major operation to detain asylum seekers across the UK, weeks earlier than expected, in preparation for their deportation to Rwanda.


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