Thrive in Battersea Park, is about to start a new gardening programme to help people who have had heart problems and is looking for participants.
The national charity uses gardening to bring positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Using gardening and the garden environment in this way is called social and therapeutic horticulture and comes under the wider umbrella of green care.
Gardening can help so many people, regardless of age or disability. The charity is already half way through a gardening programme with stroke survivors and the new healthy hearts programme starts in January 2016 for people living in Wandsworth, or who have a Wandsworth GP.
Gardening can build up people’s muscle strength, increase their stamina, improve balance, mobility and ultimately their confidence.
Becs Baumber, manager at Thrive Battersea, said: "We have a wealth of experience in helping stroke and cardiac survivors and hope that people on this course will also have fun with their peers, make new friends and feel good.
"Gardening is the tool we use to help people; you don’t need to be an expert or even have a huge interest in it, but it can have some wonderful results.
"Our new healthy heart programme will help those at risk of a cardiac event, or those in rehabilitation following such trauma.
"People gardening with us will benefit from feeling better thanks to exercise taken through gardening in a safe, secure and structured way.
"We will also be able to demonstrate the benefits of healthy eating and why certain fruits and vegetables are deemed to lower cholesterol or have other health benefits such as increasing iron levels and reducing the risk of blood clotting.
"Minor changes in people’s eating habits can lead to major changes in your health.
"We also expect to see an improvement in people’s psychological health once the programme has ended.
"Both programmes are free to attend and we welcome referrals. If you or someone you know is interested, please get in touch on 020 7720 2212 or email Battersea@thrive.org.uk