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Well-known Thrive supporters

Thrive's work with disabled people, and the way in which we change lives, has benefits from the support of well-known people from the gardening world and beyond. Here are a few of Thrive's ambassadors:

Monty Don

Monty Don
A passion for gardening and skillful writing have led Monty Don to become a much-loved newspaper columnist, writer and TV presenter. He has supported Thrive since 2003, and his experience of depression and seasonal affective disorder mean he has a personal understanding of how gardening can help.

"I am delighted that Thrive's wonderful work is to be on display at Chelsea Flower Show this year. Millions of people know that gardens are not only beautiful but also inspire and heal. No one understands this better than Thrive".

In 2008, Monty had a minor stroke. Later that year he wrote an article for The Times newpaper explaining why he supports and values Thrive's work. The photo was taken by Ari Ashley for The Times newspaper.

Read Monty Don's article

Pippa Greenwood
Pippa Greenwood

Pippa has supported Thrive since 2007 and she endorses Thrive's membership for blind and partially sighted people, which has benefited greatly from her involvement.

Pippa helped to launch Thrive's successful Plant Swap event in 2010 which raised funds to send boxes of ready-to-grow plants direct to disabled people's homes. 

In 2008, Pippa wrote an article for Thrive which featured in the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show Charity Gala souvenir brochure. The photo was taken by Sarah Heneghan.

Read Pippa Greenwood's article

Sally Brampton
Sally Brampton

Sally Brampton is a journalist and novelist, and is the founding editor of British Elle. She is also a depressive, and in the past has become so ill that she has twice attempted suicide. Sally wrote the book, Shoot the Damn Dog, which is a memoir of her depression. Gardening helped Sally and her appreciation of Thrive's work was recorded in a film made for The Times' website in 2008. 

"I just think what Thrive does is absolutely fantastic. I’ve always thought with Thrive that there is a feeling of real acceptance about people and their differences and it brings people together, that’s just wonderful..."

Read a transcript of Sally's interview

Maggie Philbin

"You do such wonderful work [at Thrive], it's been a real honour to come and meet everyone and reflect some of your efforts on radio. You make a real difference to people's lives and as a keen gardener I can understand why it's so powerful."

Maggie has presented her live drivetime show on BBC Radio Berkshire from the Thrive Trunkwell Garden Project near Reading.

Maggie interviewed Thrive disabled gardeners and found stroke survivor Ian Rickman's story particularly moving as they are the same age.  


Brian Blessed

"I fully understand how Thrive's work helps disabled people - I cannot live without my garden! It is the heart and soul of my life. It is full of trees, shrubs and thousands of dazzling flowers, flowers that smile at me as I bestow caresses and kisses on them.

"It is my belief that every flower enjoys the air that it breaths! Every blessed living moment I can find – I am in my garden."

Brian Blessed trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before beginning a distinguished and varied career, which has encompassed all media. Brian is now one of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors an author and adventurer.

Silvena Rowe

A celebrated Ottoman-Bulgarian chef, BBC TV presenter and food writer, Silvena contributes to British food magazines and newspapers as well as international publications. She has a passion for using all kinds of flowers in her cooking – from rose petals and hibiscus, to thyme and chive flowers.

Silvena was inspired by Thrive’s work: "Thrive gardeners grow, cook and eat produce from their garden, and you can see how it can help improve their lives. There is nothing quite like using flowers in food – going into the garden and picking Nasturtiums and fresh herbs for a salad. Food truly for all the senses, light and healthy, fantastic. All my best wishes for your fantastic garden at the Chelsea Flower Show!"