Plant Burst June 2018
Thanks to the generosity of the John Weightman family, Thrive currently has nine bursary students active across three groups with the first Diploma cohort coming to the end of their studies, the second cohort nearing the end of their first year and a third cohort recruited to start in September.

Over the coming issues of TEC News, we’ll take a closer look at the impact the bursary is having on our Diploma bursary students. In this article, Damien introduces us to the new bursary students who will be starting the Diploma in September.

Our latest bursary students were recruited from an initial list of 32 applicants. Once the application process closed in March, we shortlisted this list to 10 applicants. These applicants were then reviewed by a panel, which this year consisted of one of our trustees and one of our practitioners. Once the panel scores for each applicant were returned, the three with the highest aggregate score were awarded the bursary.

This year I’m delighted to announce that the bursary has been awarded to Luke Lehman, Kirsty Young and Rebecca Twigg.

John Weightman in garden Picture1
John Weigtman

Luke Lehman volunteers at the Martineau Gardens in Birmingham and has been a committed volunteer there for a few years. Martineau Gardens are a therapeutic community garden which has been open for over 30 years and provides an excellent service, offering places to people experiencing ill health and disability. This was Luke’s 3rd application for the Diploma and I was very pleased the panel chose him this time round. Luke’s long-term goals are to progress from volunteering to being employed in the therapeutic horticulture sector.

Kirsty Young is employed at the Normandy Gardens in Guildford, another great example of social and therapeutic horticulture established in the late 90s. Kirsty has been employed there for four years. She has a background in psychology as well as engaging in learning to support her development as a practitioner during her time there. Kirsty’s aspirations are to use what she learns from the Diploma to improve the quality of the services they provide currently; to explore new groups they can offer their services to; and to design new programmes to suit their needs.

The support that the John Weightman bursary has provided has been crucial in enabling Thrive to put together a great learning experience for our students.

Damien Newman, Thrive's Training, Education and Consultancy Manager

Our third bursary student Rebecca Twigg is a community gardener based in Salisbury who has recently completed her third community garden in the city. She has also been working with the veteran community and has witnessed first-hand the powerful impact gardening together has had for them. Whilst Rebecca has no formal qualifications, she has been working in this field for a long time and wants to use the Diploma to enhance her understanding of how to provide Social and Therapeutic Horticulture to wider groups.

The support that the John Weightman bursary has provided has been crucial in enabling Thrive to put together a great learning experience for our students. The richness and real-world focus of the curriculum may not have been possible and would certainly have taken longer to put together without it. So once again a heartfelt thank you to the John Weightman family for this support.

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