Zoe Ball with Imogen
Zoe Ball came to visit Thrive London in Battersea Park to find out more about our work as a charity. She left inspired by how Thrive uses gardening to change lives.

After meeting us at Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, Zoe was very keen to come and visit Thrive to see for herself how we use social & therapeutic horticulture to bring positive changes to the lives of a wide range of people.

Despite the rain, Zoe turned up full of energy and enthusiasm, and before long she was mingling with client gardeners who attend our Pathways programme for people with mental ill health. Zoe said afterwards how impressed she was by our STH Practitioner Helene and her ability to work with the group, help them in their activities and facilitate a positive social atmosphere.

Wonderful to see the therapeutic benefits of gardening together in the local community. Can't wait to come back soon and see the late spring display.

Zoe Ball
Zoe with Pathways Group
Zoe chatting with our Pathways group

We departed from the Pathways group and left our Main Garden, heading to our Old English Garden which is located in another part of Battersea Park. This beautiful tucked away sanctuary is beloved by many regular visitors, with a tranquil water feature providing a focal point to calm those who sit on the benches nearby.

Zoe fell in love with the garden straight away. She said she could feel the love put into maintaining the garden, which is done by client gardeners, volunteers and staff. She enjoyed going around taking photos of the plants and kept saying how much she was looking forward to returning to see how spring transforms the garden.

Zoe Ball in Old English Garden
Zoe in the Old English Garden

Lastly we stopped by the Herb Garden which is a short walk from the Old English Garden. Here our client gardeners grow an array of herbs. In the garden you'll find signposts for the plants being grown which talk about the health benefits of each plant or group of plants.

She popped into our greenhouse and had a great conversation with client gardener Imogen. Imogen shared much of her wisdom around gardening, accepting that some plants may die whilst others thrive, and how gardening can make you feel good.

As we walked Zoe back to the Main Garden to say our goodbyes, she kept saying how inspired she had been during her 2.5 hour visit. She was taken aback by how much Thrive felt like a 'family', the sense of community we shared and what a difference social & therapeutic horticulture makes to the physical and mental health of the client gardeners who attend our programmes.

Zoe is already very keen to return to Thrive, and we're looking forward to her next visit!

You can change lives with gardening

Stephen sitting in Battersea Gardens

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