Janine's Story


We’d like to share Janine’s story with you.

It costs just £60 a day for Janine to come to Thrive and we are delighted to report that she loves every minute of her time with us.

We’d like to help more people like Janine – but we need your help to do that.

We understand that times are tough, but this is also a crucial time for charities.

Please help where you can.

Life is still very busy at Thrive during the winter - our horticultural therapy continues regardless of the weather or the season.  Bringing about improvements in the lives of the disabled people who come to Thrive takes time, consistency and patience throughout the year. But there are so many rewards.
Janine is full of smiles; she is one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic of the disabled gardeners at Thrive.  She was diagnosed with learning disabilities as a child.  By coming to Thrive she has blossomed and become a confident self-reliant individual with a busy, productive and rewarding life.
Horticultural therapy is remarkably effective for people with learning disabilities. Compared to the general population they face an increased risk of physical and mental health problems. The gardening programmes provided by Thrive enable them to reach their full potential by:

Improving their physical fitness – one of the challenges people with disabilities face is to build and maintain their physical fitness. Exercise is automatically part of a gardening programme; walking to get water, taking material to the compost heap and fetching tools from storage.  In fact, just being outside in the fresh air and sunshine boosts energy levels.

Developing their mental powers – Thrive therapists design gardening activities specifically aimed at raising levels of concentration, decision making, reasoning and problem solving, and increasing vocabulary. For younger gardeners activities are also planned to practice the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic).

Strengthening their social skills
– at Thrive sharing and communicating with each other are natural parts of the gardening day.   And by gardening in public spaces, like Battersea Park, gardeners get the chance to talk with passers-by about the work they are doing. This really builds confidence.

Participating in their community – gardening is recognised as a favourite leisure activity by nearly half the adults in the UK[1]. Through Thrive disabled people, including those with learning disabilities, discover the joys of gardening.  This allows them to join in events like community fairs and flower shows and share a common interest with people around them. 

Gaining employment skills – this is an increasing focus of our programmes for adults with learning disabilities. Horticultural tasks are easily taught and Thrive offers a safe, non-threatening environment in which to develop basic job skills like following instructions, time keeping and working well with colleagues as well as practical horticultural skills. Many Thrive gardeners move on to volunteering or paid work in the world of horticulture.

Increase their confidence and self-esteem – this is one of the primary psychological benefits of Thrive’s gardening programmes. The broad range of tasks and skill levels found in gardening means that we can boost confidence and celebrate achievements made by every gardener, whatever their abilities.

In the face of rising costs and reduced social funding for disabled people, Thrive provides cost effective, empowering and healthy solutions.  Please help by making a donation, of whatever you can afford. This will ensure that our fantastic work can continue.  Thank you.


If you have already donated, thank you.