Thrive Battersea

We offer gardening programmes to more than 200 Londoners in four fantastic gardens in Battersea Park, as well as various outreach projects in the wider community.

Our Main Garden on East Carriage Drive is where our London office is based and our qualification and short-term health specific programmes are delivered.

Our longest-standing programmes are delivered from the Herb Garden near the Albert Gate entrance to the Park. 

We arrived in 2002 when the garden was a derelict space. Since then we have designed and created a garden which shows the diversity and beauty that can be achieved in a garden using culinary, medicinal and therapeutic plants.

The focal point of this garden is a wonderful glasshouse which is used for propagation and for tender plants like salads, herbs and tomatoes.

The stunning Old English Garden was regenerated in 2012 thanks to the support of Jo Malone Limited and designer Sarah Price whose vision for the garden transformed it into a blooming hub and wonderful resource for the community to enjoy.

It is maintained by Thrive gardeners and provides an opportunity for our groups to carry out a wide range of seasonal tasks in a complex garden, from various restorative measures to planting large amounts of bulbs and seeds. 

In spring 2016, we embarked on a partnership with Idverde, the park maintenance contractor for the London Borough of Wandsworth to take on maintenance of the Winter Garden; the newest addition to our therapeutic gardens in Battersea Park.

This partnership supports delivery of our six-month Winter Garden Pathway programme and a further delivery of a Level 1 City & Guilds qualification in Practical Horticulture Skills. 

The Winter Garden design is suited to deliver programmes for those whose mental health requires a supportive and safe environment and its size and maintenance needs make it ideal for our client gardeners to practice particular horticultural skills for their qualification modules. 

The Battersea Centre is approved to offer City and Guilds vocational qualifications Level 1 and we are delighted when Thrive gardeners move on to further study, to use their skills as a volunteer or to get a job in horticulture or other careers.

For more information on the wide range of gardening activities and support we provide for people living with disabilities or ill-health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable, click on the links below, email us or phone 020 7720 2212.

We are currently have spaces available on our programmes, if you want to refer yourself or know someone who could benefit, please get in touch.

Current programmes:

  • Working it Out - vocational training and support to enable Londoners who are disabled, unemployed or disadvantaged to overcome their barriers to employment and access job opportunities in London's parks, gardening or horticulture
  • Pathways - for adults whose mental health means they need an environment designed to minimise stress and anxiety. As the clients benefit from this non-qualification environment, the horticultural therapist can assess them and route them to the appropriate next step
  • Women's Pathways - a funded programme designed for women who are vulnerable or living with mental ill-health with the hope they become able to move onto a qualification programme
  • Life Changers - starting in September 2018 and running through to March 2019, this is a fully funded programme for those who have experienced a life changing condition. The session is tailor-made to fit with individual abilities and objectives. This programme aims to continue each client’s rehabilitation while working with a horticultural therapist in Thrive's Main Garden in Battersea Park. Participants will experience the benefits of gardening and learn the skills they need to continue after the programme ends.
  • General Therapeutic Mental Health Programme - available for adults suffering from severe mental ill-health
  • General sessions - available for adults with a variety of conditions such as autism, physical disability, mental ill-health and learning difficulties
  • Children's Summer Programme - for children with additional and complex needs. This fun programme will be run for half day sessions during the school holidays from Thrive's Main Garden in Battersea Park

Projects off-site:

  • NatureScope - Thrive has teamed up with the One Trust to provide local day service users the chance to learn about conservation, ecology and gardening
  • Queen Mary's Hostel - we visit once a week working with the gardening group to carry out maintenance and seasonal activities to renovate the garden and create a sanctuary.
  • Hopkinson House - we are working with Look Ahead to develop a gardening group to maintain and develop their beautiful outdoor space for the benefit of all who visit the building
For more details on any of our sessions, please phone Freddy on 020 7720 2212 or email battersea@thrive.org.uk