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Pro-bono: keeping in touch after the end of an assignment...

Therapy for wounded ex-service people, plus job assistance for those leaving the military...

 

In 2017 I undertook a pro-bono assignment with High Ground :  https://highground-uk.org/  a charity which provides horticultural therapy for wounded ex-service people, and also helps people leaving the military to find jobs in the land-based sector.

The work involved mentoring the Founder and Chief Executive, Anna Baker Cresswell, as she prepared the horticultural therapy centre for a complex move from Headley Court in Surrey to the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. The charity is essentially a guest on MoD premises, and there was a lot of work for Anna and her trustees to move the garden and recruit new staff in the Midlands.


  Founder and Chief Executive Anna Baker Cresswell
and Andy Wright, High Ground's Therapeutic Gardens
                                        Manager

My assignment also looked at how to enhance High Ground’s governance and fund-raising capabilities.

Anna was one of our guests at our Charity Dinner at Skinners Hall in January, and I am sure many newsletter readers enjoyed listening to her speech.

The assignment finished a while ago, but I was always curious to see the results of the move to Leicestershire. On 17 May I got the opportunity, and was Anna’s guest for a tour of the new centre. Everything up there is brand new, and while some of the garden is still a construction site, other parts of it enabled me to see how gardening can really help in therapy. For example, raised beds at different heights give the opportunity for wheelchair-based people to grow produce, while higher raised beds enable patients who are getting used to prosthetic limbs to get some good exercise. and take their minds off the soreness of the prosthetics, as they work with plants and bulbs.


              Andy and me sporting our cloth caps!

 

 

I left full of admiration for the work of High Ground and the patients and staff at DNRC. I also thought that the produce and flowers they were growing looked absolutely fantastic.

 

                                                                              Chris Sutton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Assistant and Treasurer