Danny was a happy family man, enjoying being around his children and grandchildren. Then four years ago he suddenly experienced anxiety and depression which quickly became so bad he was afraid to go into work.

He can’t pinpoint exactly when or why he became ill – perhaps it had always been there under the surface or maybe something at work was the catalyst. He’d worked on building sites all his life but didn’t like it much and found it an increasingly unpleasant environment.

Within a couple of weeks he had to leave his job. Diagnosed with depression by his GP, it developed into its worst state after a few months, only stabilising following several changes of medication.

Danny was referred to Thrive by his doctor and came to visit with his key worker. He admits he was extremely sceptical initially, but his anxiety was so bad he felt he had to try. Despite being nervous, he got involved within 20 minutes and loved it. He just couldn’t wait for the next time!

Thrive therapist Mark taught Danny new tasks every week and highlighted his progress and achievements in the garden through the changing seasons.

Danny found gardening made it easier to be with people socially and to deal with everyday things instead of hiding away. He says he did get a bit carried away with his new interest, going 'flower mad’ and changing his whole garden around at home!

Whilst at Thrive, Danny gained City & Guilds Level 1 in Practical Horticulture which helped him get paid work.

He now works for Age UK which he loves, helping older people unable to care for their gardens as well as for a garden designer.