Our organisation was set up by a small group of people in Reading, including a Whitley-based GP who recognised that prescribing medication alone was not the solution for many people with mental health difficulties. He was frustrated at the lack of services for his patients and the project evolved from the understanding that recovery from mental illness is a complex process requiring local, community-based support and qualified, committed people to accompany those affected on the journey and to reduce social isolation.

Our charitable objects are:

  • to relieve sickness and protect mental health through the provision of therapeutic horticulture to those with, or vulnerable to, mental health problems;
  • to protect physical health through encouraging horticulture-related physical activity and by promoting healthy eating to individuals and organisations.

We currently have a community garden in Whitley – one of Reading’s, and the UK’s, most deprived communities.

We have a small staff team comprised of our Horticulture Therapy lead Charlotte Allchin, a team of volunteers and an administrator.

We are very grateful for the support of our past and present funders which include; Reading Borough Council, The People’s Postcode Trust, The National Lottery Community Fund, Berkshire Community Foundation, Ed Gosling, The Syder Foundation, and Coca Cola.

We are managed by a Board of Trustees, encompassing a range of medical, health care, social enterprise and management experience. Green Health Thames Valley is part of the Reading Gardening for Health & Wellbeing Network.

The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure’.

Oliver Sacks

Volunteers from the University of Reading
Inside the polytunnel