Rosie Boycott celebrates garden project to help charity in Battersea
4:11pm Thursday 17th March 2011 in Your Say
London food tsar and writer Rosie Boycott will be helping Thrive launch its fourth garden for Pathways - the programme which helps people living with mild mental ill health.
Thrive is the only national charity of its kind in the UK that uses gardening to change lives and help disabled people harness the benefits of gardening. We champion the benefits of gardening, carry out research and offer training and practical solutions so that anyone with a disability can take part in, benefit from and enjoy gardening.
Pathways is a supported volunteering programme offering people a stepping stone to independence and is designed to help those with mild mental health issues become independent volunteers in their community.
Pathways has been running for five years at three other sites in London, during which time around 80 per cent of participants have moved on to become independent volunteers. Each Pathways site supports up to 16 people a year.
Building on this success, Thrive is delighted to be expanding Pathways to include a fourth site at New Covent Garden Market. This two-year project has been funded by Big Lottery Ecominds and supported by Capital Growth and Covent Garden Market Authority.
Rosie will be joined by a team of Thrive gardeners who will be working together to create a wonderful potager full of fruit, vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants.
People following Pathways work one to one with a horticultural therapist to create a personal development programme which identifies their aims and aspirations, addresses their needs and sets out goals.
Sue Stuart, Thrive Garden Manager at Battersea Park, said: “We already know people on Pathways improve their physical and psychological health, improve self esteem and confidence, manage their disability, develop better communication and social interaction skills, and it is fantastic that we can expand this programme.
“They will gain new skills in horticulture and working in an open space is an important element of Pathways, meaning people can operate as ‘virtual volunteers’ contributing to the garden whilst benefiting from a supported environment.”
Rosie Boycott has been a supporter of Thrive since she was appointed Chair of London’s Food by Boris Johnson. She has a 'green grid plan' to create allotment gardens in hospitals, prisons, schools and vacant lots.