Garden designer Mark Lane has become an ambassador for Thrive.
Kent-based Mark is the UK’s first recognised wheelchair-bound garden designer and the first BBC TV gardening presenter in a wheelchair.
Mark is passionate about good garden design that suits everyone and wants to show what disabled people are capable of. Like Thrive, he looks at the 'ability’ in disability.
Mark said: "Garden and landscape designs should be inclusive by default, but it is rare. I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Thrive’s Reading site this year, and it was so good seeing how productive the walled garden is, how social a space it is, but above all how horticulture and gardening are changing lives."
Thrive CEO Kathryn Rossiter, said: "We are thrilled to have Mark Lane championing Thrive as he is such a passionate supporter and campaigner for good garden design for people with disabilities.
"At Thrive we know the people we help want the same choices, opportunities and outdoor experiences as everyone and our horticultural therapists work to enable this through gardening therapy.
"I am sure Mark will be fantastic at showing his support for us through the work that he does and will help us to further enhance our own practices at Thrive.
"Mark will be working with Thrive’s training team to further develop the course the charity offers to garden designers to take into account accessibility when designing a garden."
Mark added: "Without gardening and garden design I would certainly be a different person today. I have bad days. Days when even getting out of bed is too difficult, or my pain is unbearable, but if possible my partner will help me to go outside and straight away I can feel the benefits of nature and being in the open air.
"I truly believe in what Thrive does and am looking forward to supporting them and championing their work wherever and whenever I can."
Over the last year Mark says he has had more enquiries from hospitals, rehabilitation centres, hospices and charities with a dream to create an outdoor space that patients, relatives, friends and staff can enjoy.
Last year Mark was interviewed by Monty Don at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and presented segments from Hampton Court and BBC Gardeners’ World. He will continue his presenting work with BBC Gardeners’ World in 2017.
Celebrity Television Gardener and Chartered Horticulturalist David Domoney is Thrive’s first gardening ambassador. Gardening helps cultivate hope and wellbeing, and David is very proud to support the charity in a variety of ways.