Thrive Birmingham offer therapeutic gardening programmes to people with a defined health, social or educational need in the old TV gardens in King’s Heath Park as well as various outreach projects in the wider community. For those that remember, the TV gardens provided the outside broadcasting location for Pebble Mill and previously Gardeners’ World and Gardening Times. Discover more about the history of the gardens here.
The office is based in the pavilion next to the Horticultural Training Centre in the park, but the majority of our work takes place in the TV gardens.
We use an approach called social and therapeutic horticulture (STH), where our team of trained therapists work with plants and people to improve an individual’s physical and psychological health, communication and thinking skills.
The therapists, together with our dedicated volunteers, take a person-centred approach; they work in a variety of ways - in small groups, which maintain good ratios so that the therapeutic intervention is maximised, on a 1-1 basis for people who may require additional support at times, and also in larger groups, where there may be more of a focus on social interaction, facilitated discussion and group learning.
Whilst King’s Heath is a public park, the TV gardens provide a safe, secure and private space for the client gardeners, therapists and volunteers to work within.
Grow & Learn is a practical training programme, designed to work through informal learning in an out-of-school environment. It improves participants’ life chances, helps them discover new skills and talents, and encourage them to progress to further training, volunteering and employment.
Students develop employability, personal and life skills. We are proud to be an approved City & Guilds Centre which enables us to deliver practical horticulture skills and training to young people (14+) and adults wanting to get started in the world of horticulture. We are also able to adapt the program for one year ASDAN or OCR qualifications.
Sow & Grow is a programme that brings together together small groups of socially isolated older people by providing a free 12-week tabletop gardening course in the Thrive Gardens.
Individuals may have experienced further loneliness and as result of the COVID 19 social distancing and this unique program will enable participants to learn new gardening skills, form friendships and gain confidence in social situations and improve their physical and mental well being.
“I am so impressed with all that you are achieving at Thrive and I can see why our pupils like it so much."Deputy Head at Chadsgrove School, Birmingham
The Life Changers programme runs for 16 weeks, supporting those with life changing illness or injury to improve their physical and mental wellbeing through adaptive, meaningful gardening activities, supported by our practitioners and volunteers.
Social and therapeutic horticulture uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone's ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.
Using gardening tasks and the garden itself, Thrive's horticultural Practitioners build a set of activities for each gardener to improve their particular health needs and to work on certain goals they want to achieve.
General Sessions run on an ongoing basis the same day each week and client gardeners attend half or for the full day. We currently have sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Throughout the year, Thrive Birmingham host guided tours and volunteer taster days where we open the TV gardens out to the public. Our therapists, volunteers, staff are proud to show people around all the areas in which they work.
People come to us by many different paths. Some are referred by social services or support workers, or via another health care professional such as their GP. We also welcome people who come independently or are referred by a family member, school or another charity. Whatever the referral route, we can discuss individual needs to ensure the programme options are appropriate.
To discuss any of our programmes, or if you would like to arrange a visit to one of our gardens or if you are interested other ways to get involved, please contact the Thrive office on 0121 293 4531 or use our contact form.
Our Main Garden office is in front of the bowling green in King's Heath Park. The nearest entrance is Vicarage Road entrance.
Download a map of our location in the park.
Horticultural Training Centre
King's Heath Park