With 40 years’ experience, Thrive are the leading charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people whose lives have been touched by disability. Thrive provide programmes of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture directly and offer training and consultancy to other health, social care and educational organisations. Thrive also provide information and guidance on how to use gardening for health and well-being through their sister website www.carryongardening.org.uk
In recent years, Thrive have been at the forefront of research and learning in practice about the benefits of gardens and gardening for people with dementia. In 2008, in partnership with the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust and University of Reading, Thrive carried out a study into the benefits of horticultural therapy for people with young onset dementia. Around the same time, as part of a Wates funded project, Thrive delivered 100 free training days to relevant professionals and organisations working with people with dementia. Since then, the ‘Garden Memories’ project helped those living with dementia, and their carers within the Berkshire West PCT area, to continue gardening together at home. And more recently, Thrive’s ‘Gardening Together’ initiative has brought together care home staff and residents for indoor table-top gardening sessions in 14 care homes across Berkshire and Hampshire. Thrive’s specialist knowledge and undergraduate training programme has enabled hundreds of people to advance their knowledge and develop practical approaches to using social and therapeutic horticulture with older people with specific support needs. And finally, a 6 year relationship with Hallmark Care Homes has seen Thrive provide training to care home staff and provide tailored recommendations to each Hallmark home about developing, maintaining, and carrying out activity within, the homes’ indoor and outdoor green spaces.
Thrive were responsible for the training components of Living through Landscapes to ensure and integrated approach across the project. This was delivered through a combination of online learning resources, podcasts and face-to-face courses for care settings, garden designers and landscaping contractors.