Anthony, with his sense of humour, contagious laugh and love of coffee has become a firm member of the Battersea Thrive community. Anthony was referred by his local job centre as part of the Working it Out project which incorporates therapeutic gardening and a practical City & Guilds Practical Horticulture Skills qualification.
Before coming to Thrive, Anthony found life quiet with not much to do; he found that he was struggling and wasn’t really socialising with others. Anthony has special education needs, which can make life that little bit tougher, communication and socialising with other people doesn’t always come easily, so coming to Thrive has provided him the opportunity to develop these skills.
Anthony has now learnt so much about himself and other people. He has much more confidence and can now be found chatting away with the other client gardeners during breaks. Anthony particularly enjoys the journey to Thrive as it gives him a sense of independence.
Working with his horticultural therapist Mark, volunteers and other client gardeners has given Anthony a real sense of belonging:
"Working with Anthony B (another client gardener) made me realise that there are people out there who I can give and receive advice from… I didn’t think I would ever have that."
Building on his important role in the Thrive community, Anthony has now completed his City & Guilds Level 1 in Practical Horticulture Skills. Mark uses his years of experience as a therapist to help Anthony learn, using pictures and rhymes. This means that Anthony is working towards a brighter future in which he can use his gardening and improved communication skills to achieve his dreams of being a manager.
At Thrive, we want to help those who are disadvantaged gain independence as people living with disabilities are around 3 times as likely not to hold any qualifications and around half as likely to hold a degree-level qualification, compared to those living without (Department of Work & Pensions, Disability Facts & Figures 2014). Anthony is a great example of how coming to Thrive has helped him work towards that independence, which has a positive impact not just on Anthony but also his family as well.