Junior Herbalist Club (JHC) is a 2-year extracurricular course for children (aged 7-12) which runs for 90 minutes, once a month, for 10 months of the year. The aim of JHC is to help children learn about the healing plants around them in a safe and supervised environment. The children are taken on a journey of discovery, engaging all their senses with playful practical skills.
Junior Herbalist Club was created and developed by Medical Herbalist Mel Hornby and has been delivering herbal education to children in the UK since 2014. Mel qualified as a Medical Herbalist after completing a 5-year degree in Herbal Medicine in 2007.
After having two little boys of her own, Mel developed the JHC course so that she could share her passion for herbs with local children. Since then, JHC has developed and blossomed. With Leader Training Courses for registered Medical Herbalists being held each year, there are now over 30 official Junior Herbalist Clubs throughout the UK and Leader Training planned to go ahead in Australia in 2023.
In 2019 the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) became involved with JHC, and now proudly support the scheme across the UK. As well as actively promoting the scheme, the Institute maintain the register of qualified JHC leaders, and award the certificates to both Leaders and children.
In 2021 Mel was awarded The Christopher Headley Memorial Award for Significant Contribution to Herbal Medicine in recognition of her development of the JHC education program.