Malcolm helps young people with disabilities develop for the future.

Having enjoyed a career in the telecommunications industry, Malcolm was looking for something to fill a gap in his life after he left full time employment. A friend was already volunteering for Thrive and Malcolm decided to make contact with a view to doing some gardening.

Malcolm is mainly involved in the Grow and Learn programmes in Birmingham supporting young people with disabilities who are working towards a City & Guilds qualification. For these young people it’s a major achievement. However, there are many 'extras’ when engaged with Thrive as he has found out; such as working on projects within the gardens, helping with show gardens at BBC Gardeners World Live, sponsored walks and flower shows to name but a few activities.

“I mainly work with the special needs schools groups working towards a City and Guilds qualification. Yes, the youngsters have special needs, but they also have an amazing range of unique talents which they often entertain me with.

I also work with others at Thrive Birmingham on a range of projects from new Thrive logo windows for the office, to building raised planters for the garden. With help from Thrive Battersea we have built a number of planters which get great use by all the clients. Some of the clients even helped build the planters. Not only did Luke enjoy this, but I also enjoyed working with him.”

M Alcolm and Luke

We often discuss the therapeutic benefit to volunteers from working at Thrive, an aspect to be enjoyed. I’m privileged to work with a great bunch of fellow volunteers and staff at Thrive Birmingham, long may it continue.

When asked what his favourite memory with Thrive is, Malcolm said,

“That's easy. June 2017 - Gardeners World Live at the NEC Birmingham. Watching the youngsters from Chadsgrove school celebrating their Silver Merit award for a garden they designed, grew the plants for and made the garden - a really great day.”

Find out more about volunteering at Thrive

Planting out