Pheasant in Trunkwell garden Charlie Garner 2019
Find out how we're affected by and responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

Updated 15th July

On Monday, the government announced that from the 19th of July there will be further easing of Coronavirus restrictions. The main changes are the removal of the legal requirement for face masks and social distancing. Instead, caution is being encouraged and the use of individual and organisational judgement.

Client programmes and centres

We are aware that there are a range of views about the pace at which Thrive, and the country, should be moving and we have sought to understand these views ahead of making any decisions. Thrive will continue to take seriously its responsibility to safeguard you and our workforce and is seeking to balance the risks from Covid with our desire to enable you to benefit from our services. Given Thrive activities largely happen outdoors, where transmission is least likely to occur, we are happy to remove some of our existing mitigations.

What changes at Thrive from 19th July

  • There will no longer be a legal requirement to wear a face-covering at the centres for client gardeners or staff and volunteers. However, in line with the latest government advice, we highly recommend that those who are able to wear a face covering, should continue to do so within any indoor spaces at the centres. The only exception to this change is for the Thrive minibus (Reading centre only), where masks will be required to travel.
  • Client gardeners and our workforce will no longer be legally required to socially distance whilst on site. Thrive will largely maintain bubbles across our sites; this is to limit the number of possible contacts an individual might have whilst attending Thrive. We are conscious that the larger group settings are really appreciated by you and so will be considering how we can safely enable bubbles to mix. This change will enable groups sizes to grow slightly. Caution will still be encouraged indoors, such as the sheds and offices.
  • Actual physical contact remains strongly discouraged within our settings and it is vitally important to help reduce the spread of the virus unless required in relation to an emergency situation e.g. providing First Aid.
  • One-way directional systems will no longer be in place.

What will stay the same

At Thrive, we will continue to:

  • use sanitisation stations throughout the centres.
  • encourage testing for client gardeners, and require staff and volunteers to test
  • prevent individuals with symptoms or those who are self-isolating from attending Thrive
  • encourage client gardeners, and the workforce to get vaccinated

At-home Coronavirus testing for our centre staff and volunteers continues in line with best practice guidance for our services, to protect client gardeners, and the Thrive team and to prevent and control the spread of the virus by identifying asymptomatic cases.

We will continue to highly recommend and encourage that you undertake your own weekly testing for Covid-19 if you are attending Thrive as a client gardener or visitor, with volunteers and staff having more specific testing requirements. We understand that some individuals may not be able to undertake a test. You can still come to Thrive even if you do not take a test.

If you have any questions about these changes please take a look at our FAQs, which you can find here.

Changes at Thrive from 19th July - FAQs

Information about coronavirus guidance for our centres and operations

Find out more

Any changes to guidance related to the pandemic and how we operate will be posted here when we have them. Stay up to date with our work by signing up to our monthly e-news or follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and understanding. We are incredibly grateful to the support of our volunteer garden teams who have kept things under control during the past few months and for the patience shown by all our clients, volunteers and staff during this time.

New client gardeners

We encourage anyone interested in joining a social and therapeutic horticulture programme with Thrive to contact us via our contact form.


Find out about our volunteering opportunities here.

If you are an existing volunteer, please check in with your supervisor if you have questions about our guidance and what you need to know.

How we've supported client gardeners remotely during the pandemic

We created an online resource used to connect Thrive's horticultural therapists and clients, so they can continue sessions remotely and still benefit from social and therapeutic horticulture, whilst remaining safely at home.

Find out more

Training and Education

Whilst we are still not able to offer face-to-face social and therapeutic horticulture training courses, we now have two blended learning courses for you to access, both running on a regular basis - 'Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practice' and ‘Introduction to STH Practice’. You can also access our other exciting and engaging online courses on our Thrive Learn website. Anyone with training enquiries should email training@thrive.org.uk

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practice (blended course)

This course provides the key skill set for Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) Practice and will consider the fundamental approaches and role of the practitioner within different settings and working with different groups of people.

Find out more

Thrive Gardening Club

In response to the crisis, we launched a new free resource to help people keep well. Delivered straight to your email box, the Thrive Gardening Club offers fortnightly tips to get the most out of your own garden.

It includes tips to help you garden if you have a disability or long-term health condition, activities for children, and plenty of information about how gardening can keep you healthy and feeling well.

And if you don’t have your own garden to enjoy, we’ll show you ways you can still access the benefits of connecting with nature.

You can sign up to the Thrive Gardening Club here.

Contacting us

If you have an enquiry for any of our centres or teams - please use our simple form

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