AN absorbing insight into the work of the national gardening charity Thrive was given to members at
AN absorbing insight into the work of the national gardening charity Thrive was given to members at the club’s evening meeting at Badgemore Park Golf Club.
Hazel Radnor, Thrive’s fund-raising officer, explained how working with plants and nature has a number of restorative benefits for people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
Planting out and growing things in one of Thrive’s four gardens — in Reading, London, Birmingham and Gateshead — is a safe and secure way to develop someone’s ability to mix socially and make friends and to learn practical skills to help them be more independent.
Involving yourself in growing flowers and vegetables has been shown to improve physical and mental health.
It could also lead to volunteering with other organisations, City and Guilds qualifications in horticulture, which people can do with Thrive, and, for some, a job.
At Trunkwell Gardens in Beech Hill, near Reading, Thrive has created five small gardens, known as the Garden Gallery, for people with specific disabilities which show how green care can be put into practice. The gardens are small, each the size of a typical new-build back garden, and focus on solutions and creative ideas for those coping with particular challenges, such as disability, stroke/heart disease, visual impairment, dementia, learning disabilities or mental ill health.
Such people are generally referred to Thrive by their GPs, or by social services, or they can self-refer.
Thrive opens its gardens in the summer months. Information on dates and on gardening in general can be obtained from its website, www.thrive.org.uk