Ambassador Malcolm Payne
Having enjoyed a long interesting career in research and development in the telecommunications industry, Malcolm was looking for something to fill a gap in his life after he left full time employment.

With a lifelong interest in gardening it seemed a natural step to think about volunteering in this sector. He was thinking long and hard about it, but not really doing anything about it, until he spoke to one of his wife’s friends.

The friend was already volunteering for Thrive in King’s Heath Park, Birmingham, a park Malcolm knew well both from his childhood and from its TV gardening programmes. He hadn’t heard about Thrive before this so decided to make contact with a view to doing some gardening. And so his Thrive journey began.

Now four years later, Malcolm says: `I’m really enjoying working with clients, staff and fellow volunteers. It isn’t what I thought I would be doing when I started, but it’s a real joy to be involved in such a worthwhile activity.'

Malcolm gardening
Malcolm working in the Thrive Birmingham TV gardens

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.

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.

`As a Thrive ambassador I’m thrilled to be able to spread the great work that the charity does to enrich people’s lives through horticulture.'

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