14 February 2013 By Billy Hawkins
Preparations for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are already been made up and down the country and Alitex is no exception. We are fortunate to be working once again with Thrive, the charity which uses gardening to change lives.
Thrive gardeners will be planting up an Alitex greenhouse on our stand for 2013, growing all the plants from scratch. Already seeds have been sown and planted in the Alitex greenhouse at the Thrive Herb Garden in Battersea park.
"The gardeners are delighted to once again be growing plants for Alitex at Chelsea. They take their roles very seriously. We will again hold interviews to choose gardeners to help plant up the glasshouse at Chelsea." Thrive spokesperson, Alyson Chorley said.
Jim was one of the people chosen last year to plant the greenhouse at Chelsea and he will be growing again this year. Recently his story was documented, which really explains the role and strength of the charity’s work.
It wasn’t long ago that Jim was a quiet and withdrawn young man whose mental health issues meant that to him, life felt rather dark. He came across as uncooperative and difficult to get to know.
Jim didn’t like being with other people and he ended up isolated from the other gardeners at the Thrive Battersea Garden Project. Jim’s serious attitude however had some positives, he was hardworking and he got on with the job, but he just couldn’t connect with others.
Working at Thrive helped Jim open up and because he felt happier, he found it easier to relax and allow other people in.
Jim's confidence grew and he started to look beyond his own garden bed for things to do –he found that he wanted to work with others and in different areas of the garden. By broadening his horizons he gained confidence and purpose and became a valued and popular member of the team.
Jim now comes to Thrive three days a week, he is keen to improve his horticulture skills, and wants to set up his own gardening business. On Friday's he volunteers with an organisation called 'Get Out There’ where he takes part in conservation work. Jimmy has been an integral part of the team working in The Old English Garden thanks to the funding from Jo Malone Limited.