Katy joined one of the regional centres at Thrive in Battersea Park as a Garden Support Volunteer in July 2017. She now spends one day a week in the Herb Garden, working as part of a wonderful team of adults with physical disabilities and learning disabilities, along with other volunteers. They all work alongside Richard who is one of the horticultural therapists at Thrive Battersea.
"I’d wanted to volunteer for several years, but being a journalist with a large national retailer in central London used up all my energy and time. However, when I left that business to explore a new direction after almost 23 years, volunteering was one of the first things on my list!"
Why Thrive? Although Katy doesn’t live in London, she wanted to give something back to the amazing city in which she’d worked for so long. She also wanted to volunteer outside and with people from disadvantaged and 'at risk’ groups, due to her own experience of the impact of poor mental health, alcoholism and dementia on a family member.
"The opportunity to learn through enabling others and to grow as a person myself was a big part of Thrive’s appeal." Inevitably, Katy was initially nervous as she wondered if she’d say or do the 'wrong' thing, but she says it's been interesting, challenging and most of all fun.
"I’m thrilled to be a Thrive Ambassador, as I have a strong belief in the therapeutic power of nature. I’m also passionate about the idea of making it easier for more people like me to get into volunteering while we’re still of working age, instead of waiting until we retire for such a valuable opportunity to give something back and learn."