Carly came to Thrive’s regional centre at Beech Hill, Reading, after finishing her college course in 2009.

She attends one of Thrive’s general therapeutic gardening sessions for adults with a variety of conditions such as autism, physical disability, mental ill health and learning disabilities. She is passionate about gardening and is a real advocate for the therapeutic benefits it brings.

Carly said `When I first came to Thrive I think I was quite an angry person, but the garden and the people I work with made me feel happy. I’m less angry now.'

Having first started in the garden sowing seeds and potting on, Carly now prides herself in being able to do things like mowing, jet washing, turning compost and moving bark chippings to create accessible walkways for other clients.

Carly June 2019 11

`I’m much happier and healthier. I’m definitely fitter too. I’ve learnt so much about gardening and horticulture and have even answered gardening questions when watching The Chase at home! I know more about nutrition; what’s healthy, how to grow things and how they end up on the plate.'

Carly has her own plot at Thrive and enjoys growing beetroot, carrots and flowers, often taking her produce home to mum. Her other loves are cinema, music - Olly Murs, Little Mix and Ed Sheeran in particular - and she is also a self-confessed soap addict!

On being a Thrive Ambassador, Carly said, `It’s an important and respectful role and I’m really pleased to be doing it. I love Thrive and I want to tell other people about it.'

Keep up to date with all that Carly is doing at Thrive by reading her regular blog.