people walking through the woods

Battersea charity gardening campaign to support health and wellbeing

A charity gardening campaign is launching in Battersea to help people’s health and wellbeing this autumn and winter.

Gardens can play a really positive role at this time of year, according to horticultural therapy charity Thrive, which is launching an autumn calendar of activities to boost wellbeing.

Thrive runs social and therapeutic horticulture programmes for hundreds of people at its three gardens in Birmingham, Battersea and near Reading.

Thrive’s Damien Newman said: “Combined with uncertainties about Covid, this time of year can be a period when some people feel greater stress and anxiety.

“Engaging in gardening and connecting with nature has proven benefits for health as many people will now testify after their experiences during lockdowns.

“Autumn still offers plenty of opportunities to experience these therapeutic benefits and to boost wellbeing.”

Each activity on our calendar connects to the five ways to well-being promoted by the NHS: 

  • Be active
  • Connect with other people
  • Give
  • Learn new skills
  • Take notice

Thrive’s Communications and PR Manager Mark Lang added: “Our purpose is helping people with disabilities and long term health conditions benefit through horticultural therapy.

“People come to us with long term health conditions or disabilities and they work with our social and therapeutic horticulture practitioners.” 

“What they do is work with the clients, understanding their needs and what they’re trying to achieve, whether that’s a physical health goal or mental goal or increasing their social skills. Then they will adapt tasks in the garden to help them meet those particular needs.

“Sometimes with our stressful lives gardening can be really helpful as a way of alleviating stress and anxiety.”

GARDENING THERAPY: Thrive’s autumn wellbeing calendar

Thrive began in 1979 and was originally called the Society for Horticultural Therapy and Rural Training in Frome. 

It was set up by Chris Underhill, a young horticulturist inspired by his work with people with disabilities and his voluntary service in Africa. 

Thrive uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.

The campaign is advertised to run the first 28 days of November, however you can pick it up from  wherever due to the flexible and relaxing activities. 

Thrive is on Twitter and Facebook and will be giving tips and advice on the accounts to help everyone on their wellbeing journey.

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