Age creeps up on all of us. Yet, we can face this fact of life with a positive attitude. Inspired by the healing power of plants, Zoe Chan, Chung Woo and Mike Tsang set up the social enterprise “PuYU” to provide the elderly with horticultural therapy that helps them build confidence and enjoy their silver-haired years fully.
The three founders of PuYU are registered horticultural therapists. Woo and Tsang are retired “young old” (aged between 50 and 65) who have been well versed in floral art and arboriculture before they knew anything about horticultural therapy. Zoe worked in the finance industry and had little contact with plants. She once signed up to a horticultural therapy workshop and took home an arrowhead vine. The plant managed to stand tall and proud despite a long period of insufficient watering and tough weather. Impressed by the vitality of her plant, Zoe aspired to help others enjoy the same vigour. She quitted her job to join a training programme in horticultural therapy where she met the other two partners.
PuYU provides tailor-made horticultural classes and gardening tools for the elderly, which help train up their muscles and eye-hand coordination, and delay the cognitive decline that comes with ageing. PuYU has also launched the “PuYU Mindful Green Ambassador programme” to train silver-haired volunteers in realisation of “young-old serves old-old”. Through this programme, the “young old” learn not only knowledge in horticultural therapy but also new skills in interacting and serving the elderly.
External support is indispensable to a social venture. Zoe reckons that their business cannot sustain by running community-based programmes only. Therefore, she has started to explore new opportunities, such as collaborating with big corporations to organise horticulture workshops and volunteer training for staff as corporate social responsibility programmes. Zoe hopes that this new revenue stream would secure a sustainable business development while enabling more people to benefit from the positive energy of plants.
- The SIE Fund had provided funding support to the prototype project of Mindful Green - Horticultural Therapy Services. More details can be found here.
Scope of Services
- Horticultural therapy to combat Alzheimer's disease (etnet 09/05/2018) (Chinese only)
- Horticultural therapy to slow down cognitive malfunctioning (on.cc 10/06/2018) (Chinese only)