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Thrive is among a group of organisations forming the Wild Being project which has won funding to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Thriving Communities Fund has given the Wild Being project £50,000 to assist people via social prescribing.

The project will prioritise adults and young people aged 16+

  • with mental ill health
  • people with Long Covid or with health conditions that have deteriorated as a result of lockdown or isolation
  • individuals struggling financially through job loss or in-work poverty
  • people who have been bereaved
  • vulnerable women at risk of domestic violence
  • carers

The project will be centred on Reading and will enable hundreds of residents to benefit from an extensive programme of activities to boost their mental health, skills, and relationships.

Thrive supported the bid as part of the Reading Green Wellbeing Network (formerly known as the Reading Gardening for Health and Wellbeing Network - RG4HWN) alongside 10 other organisations, including Reading Voluntary Action.

One aim of the project is to improve connections between local organisations and enable social prescribers to link people to services in the community

Thrive and members of the RG4HWN will provide accessible, friendly and hyper-local pop-up sessions, offering a mix of gardening and nature-based activities, throughout the growing season, carried out on a drop-in basis in a variety of locations.

The project aims to create a buddy system which will enable social prescribers to link clients to volunteers who can accompany them to initial sessions.

It also hopes to make it easier for people to find gardening-for-health and nature-based programmes via a database accessible to the public, social prescribers and social services.

So you want to work in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture?

As recognition of gardening’s health benefits increases, interest in working with people and plants is growing. But what does being a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner actually involve? We spoke to our very own Jan Broady to find out.

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Man in purple Thrive top kneeling and gardening with horticultural therapist in purple top