Freedom from Torture Garden: A Sanctuary for Survivors

A place of sanctuary, of peace and hope where horticultural therapy calms, heals and restores survivors of torture on their journey to recovery.

Freedom from torture garden RHS Chelsea flower show 2024

Designed by Emma O’Connell and John Warland, in collaboration with survivors of torture, this curvaceous garden is an immersive space, where the visitor can engage in therapy one-to-one, with family, or in a group. Sculptural willow streams divide the space, enwrap the visitor and lead up to the Sky Nest, designed as a place of sanctuary.

A sinuous water rill offers irrigation for the plants and restorative relaxation. Naturalistic (drought-tolerant) planting stimulates happier memories of home and edible produce, nourishing both body and soul. The communal bread oven brings survivors together to share stories and build new friendships. A garden to rest, cook, share and grow again.

Freedom From Torture is the only UK registered charity providing therapeutic care for survivors of torture. The charity’s first garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 will be a place of sanctuary and healing, showcasing the charity’s existing ground-breaking horticultural therapy programme, exploring the therapeutic properties of gardening, and experiencing first-hand the deep and long-lasting impact it can have for survivors of torture.

The garden will be rebuilt at the Freedom From Torture HQ in North London to become an immersive sanctuary and working garden providing edible produce, use of the bread oven and overall peace, relaxation and quiet oasis.

The Freedom from Torture garden is sponsored by Project Giving Back. The garden build will be managed by Living Landscapes.