The history of gardening charity, Thrive

Thrive began as the Society for Horticultural Therapy and Rural Training in Frome in 1979, set up by Chris Underhill, a young horticulturist inspired by his work with people with disabilities and his voluntary service in Africa. Chris was supported by, amongst others, Dr Geoffrey Udall a paediatrician. Initially the organisation concentrated on supporting the people who were setting up and running specific outdoor projects and wanted to use the concept of horticultural therapy. It aimed to be a bridge between the world of horticulture and the world of health. In the mid-1980s the organisation widened its scope by offering services to individual disabled gardeners. Before his death, the Reverend Dr Geoffrey Udall made provision for Thrive in his will and bequeathed his family’s estate and walled garden in Beech Hill, Reading, to the charity.

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