Thrive, the leading charity operating in the field of disability and gardening, has been named Thompson & Morgan’s Charity of the Year. The UK’s largest mail order and online plant and seed specialist will fundraise for the charity through 2016, helping to bring about positive change to the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, through therapeutic horticulture.
Kick starting the partnership, a new sweet pea has been launched for 2016, with money generated from sales going towards Thrive training programs at the charity’s four regional centres and local community venues. The sale of the sweet pea alone aims to generate £10,000+. Alongside this Thompson & Morgan is also supplying over £1,000 of flower and vegetable seeds to be grown at the charity’s three garden project sites at Gateshead, Reading and London’s Battersea Park. This will help provide learning opportunities and the prospect of charity income from the sale of plants grown from these seeds. To boost the flower power of the Thrive gardens Thompson & Morgan is also donating 2,400 litres of incredicompost® for use in the planting displays, plus all the incredibloom® fertiliser needed for a bumper season of colour and produce.
Thrive was tasked with naming the new sweet pea, and called on its supporters for suggestions. Sweet Pea ‘Eleanore Udall’ was chosen to commemorate the late wife of the founder of Thrive, the late Rev. Dr Geoffrey Udall, who bequeathed his Beech Hill estate in Berkshire, now home to the charity’s head office and gardens. The variety was selected for its pretty graduated pink petals and heavenly scent – ideal for garden display and home-made cut flower bouquets. It will retail from January 2016 at £2.99 for 25 seeds.
Thrive Chief Executive Kathryn Rossiter, said: “We would like to thank Thompson & Morgan for choosing Thrive as their Charity of the Year. What a wonderful name for this very pretty sweet pea, and such a fitting tribute. I hope our supporters will buy lots of packets of sweet pea ‘Eleanore Udall’ and we look forward to seeing pictures of the sweet peas in bloom. “We will be selling packets of the sweet peas at Thrive via our website and through our various outlets with 100 per cent profits coming back to us. Please do buy as many packets as you can!”
As well as retail outlets at its main gardening projects Thrive also has a network of local retailers who show their support for the charity as Friends of Thrive. Many of these will be retailing the sweet pea at outlets around Berkshire.
Thompson & Morgan will sell Sweet Pea ‘Eleanore Udall’ via its 2016 seed catalogue and website, with 50% of proceeds from these sales going to the charity. The seed specialists social committee is also drawing up a plan of in house fund raising events, including cake and plant sales, and hopes to put a team of volunteers together to help out with a Thrive gardening project later in the season.
Thompson & Morgan horticultural director Paul Hansord said: “We know through social media that the therapeutic qualities of gardening are widely understood by many of our customers. We’ve seen how sowing a packet of seeds and growing the plants through the season can go a long way in helping improve both physical and mental health. Thrive does some amazing work in this area and we’re keen to help raise awareness and vital funds for such a good cause.
“Donating a sweet pea variety to the charity makes sense. They are easy to grow and produce impressive results no matter your skill level – anyone can grow them. They can also be sown from January to April and again from September to November, providing us with two long sales windows to maximise income for Thrive. Anyone who likes sweet peas should add ‘Eleanore Udall’ to their sowing list for 2016.”