Aiden and lavender
Aiden is profoundly deaf and partially sighted; he lives at home in the country with his dad and step mum, Suzy.

Aiden has always loved gardening, and with Suzy by his side, Aiden has been attending Thrive,London for the past year where he has really begun to blossom.

“Aiden has always enjoyed gardening, so when we found out about Thrive, we thought it would be perfect for him. Aiden has been encouraged to make his own choices and has learned new skills such as how to problem solve.

His hand-eye coordination has improved greatly, as has his concentration and patience. He has gained so much confidence and loves to meet his friends. It’s just lovely to see him growing up” – Suzy, Aiden’s step mum.

Aiden and Suzy travel each week from Kent, with Aiden’s dad who is a coach driver working in London. “Coming to Thrive has given us something to look forward to, it’s always an enjoyable day. As we get closer to London, Aiden noticeably gets happier, he starts to laugh and clap, he knows where we are going.

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He has gained so much confidence and loves to meet his friends. It’s just lovely to see him growing up”

Suzy, Aiden’s step mum.

Often before getting the coach back home we have dinner in London as a family, which is lovely as we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do this due to Aiden’s Dad getting home late from work.”

Using gardening tasks and the garden itself, Thrive horticultural therapists build a set of activities for each gardener to improve their particular health needs, and to work on certain goals they want to achieve. With spoken language being a challenge, Aiden uses sign as well as pictures to express himself and his needs.

Aiden potting up

Speaking to Aiden’s Horticultural Therapist Lu, she said “Aiden has made great progress in the time he has spent at Thrive.  He arrived as a shy withdrawn individual; he was very dependent on Suzy for support. 

Aiden is now happy to work on a task with another gardener, taking turns in shovelling compost from the bins for example.  He is also content to work away from Suzy with another volunteer. 

Aiden engages more with other gardeners, paying attention to different people in the room.  Although he is unable to communicate with them, he makes eye contact and watches what everyone else is doing.”

Aiden is now happy to work on a task with another gardener, taking turns in shovelling compost from the bins for example.  He is also content to work away from Suzy with another volunteer. 

Lu, Aiden's Horticultural therapist

It’s wonderful to hear how much Aiden has progressed in the time he has been coming to Thrive.

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Dahlia and clients 2