Thursday, 17 November 2011

Gardening Leave

It is a privilege of the Master to be allocated by the Marketors' Trust the sum of £2,000 for a charitable donation of his choosing. I have reflected for some time on the choice. It seemed to me that such a sum would be most valued by a small charity with real focus where it would have a greater significance than if given to one of the major charities. With this thinking in mind I have given the donation to to a small, fairly new (founded in 2007) charity called Gardening Leave. The charity aims to improve the mental and physical well being of ex-service people by offering horticultural therapy in walled gardens. They provide peaceful, unpressurised environments where mentally damaged veterans can participate as much or as little as they like in the life cycle of the garden. Many who attend at the sites have difficulty making the transition from military to civilian life and also suffer from combat stress reactions. Gardening Leave offers them structure, routine, being with like minded individuals , being outside and having something constructive to do.
So it was with pleasure that I handed over the Trust's cheque to Anna Baker Cresswell, the founder, at the charity's walled garden within the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. There are sites elsewhere in the UK and over the next 5 years the charity aims to open new projects in walled gardens throughout the country to bring companionship and reassurance to more traumatically stressed veterans young and not so young.

1 comment:

  1. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners, first mentioned in City Corporation records in 1345, is a survivor from the medieval craft guilds which exercised control over the practice of their particular crafts and ensured a proper training through the system of apprenticeship.