Battersea Park charity runs campaign to promote benefits of gardening

A Battersea Park charity launched a week-long campaign to promote gardening’s benefits for physical and mental health, social engagement and learning new skills.

It’s Not Just Gardening is run by charity Thrive, using gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who have disabilities, ill health, are disadvantaged or isolated.

FOR EVERYONE: Garden and client manager Julie Jowett hard at work.

The charity’s old English garden in Battersea Park has a central water fountain, herbaceous perennials, mature trees and English roses.

Horticulture therapist Maria Papoui said: “It is amazing and very important for wellbeing and sanity, connecting with nature, getting away from fast road life.”

She added:  “People come to thrive from all walks of life. It is a very important space for our clients as they come together to socialise and work together to create a garden.”

WORKING TOGETHER: Horticulture therapist Maria Papoui helps clients from all walks of life.

Maria runs three groups, a women only group, a general therapeutic group and volunteering Sundays.

Client gardener Imogen Gaisman has been involved in many different gardening activities like potting, weeding, moss removal and preparing plants for sale. She has been growing mint, flax, parsley and busy Lizzie.

She said: “At the moment I am growing lots of different varieties of plants. I love doing mints.

“I really actually genuinely love gardening. I have lovely people I work with and nice companions I work alongside. It’s very therapeutic for me as it helps my disability.”

Garden and client manager Julie Jowett said: “Thrive’s campaign raises awareness of how good gardening is for everybody.

“It gets you back in touch with nature, attention restoration, calms your brain.”

To find out more about the charity visit the website.

Feature image shows client gardener, Imogen Gaisman.

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