Viv and Sam
When Viv and Sam* came to Thrive they were battling a complex mixture of feelings having been isolated and lonely for some considerable time.

Although they have had different careers and come from different backgrounds these two women have something in common. Both have experienced domestic abuse.

The effects of living in fear are clear to see and the effects are devastating. Sam had spent most of her life looking after other people and volunteering for a number of organisations but when problems began within her home environment she became isolated and lonely.

For Viv, domestic abuse in her past had left her longing to make new friends, particularly amongst other women who would understand what she had been through. The

"Gardening for Good Health" programme designed for women who have lived with domestic violence was ideal and through a referral from Womens Aid, Viv decided to sign up.

At first, Viv wasn’t sure she would be able to relax and trust other people but once she had settled into the sessions she felt she could talk to the other attendees freely. Both Viv and Sam took part in structured gardening sessions together, learning new skills, using a variety of tools and techniques in a secure and supportive environment.

Working at their own pace and with the support of a Horticultural Therapist and volunteers, the women have made fantastic progress. They have learned new skills, gained confidence and forged firm friendships, having bonded over their passion for growing things together.

*please note names have been changed for personal protection reasons