From the start of the lockdowns, walks to Battersea Park became a daily ritual for me. As time went on, I started to realise their importance to my level of fitness and sense of happiness. Over the past two years, I’ve been able to explore and get to know the park very well and notice things I never have before.
On Christmas Day, I turned into a winding path that led me to a gate. The gate opened up into the Old English Garden: a beautiful space centred around a fountain, with benches where one can sit and admire nature. Since then, I have made the Old English Garden a part of my day. I noticed that it is looked after by Thrive, a mental health charity that applies an approach called social and therapeutic horticulture (STH). I definitely can relate to the benefits of being surrounded by nature and decided to look into the charity more closely.
I was drawn to it and wanted to get involved. On the first day of the new year, I contacted them. On hearing that they run a volunteer Sunday once a month, I immediately registered. It happened on a recent Sunday and I was delighted to be able to contribute in my own small way. I am looking forward to continuing this monthly volunteering engagement, as well as my daily walks to Battersea Park. (Website; Directions)
— Paul Moreno, banking, London