Ahead of The Big Help Out, a day dedicated to volunteering as part of the King’s Coronation Celebrations, the team at Forward Carers left the office behind to muck in at Thrive, aptly located in Kings Heath.

On Thursday 4 May, Forward Carers employees, swapped the office for fresh air and donned wellies and gardening gloves using their company volunteering day to lend a hand to Thrive, the leading gardening for health charity.

Thrive uses an approach called Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH), where trained horticultural therapists work with plants and people to improve an individual’s physical and psychological health, communication and thinking skills.

Forward Carers CEO, Simon Fenton explained why Thrive was chosen for the team’s volunteering day.

“Thrive helps those living with a disability, ill-health, or those who are isolated and vulnerable. The charity has previously helped unpaid Carers, and supporting Carers is obviously something that is very close to our hearts.

I wanted staff to have the opportunity to spend the day being active outdoors as it’s great for physical and mental health. Staff wellbeing is something I feel strongly about, and the importance of wellbeing is embedded into our organisational culture.

As a non-profit social enterprise, we believe in living our values, one of which is to be Socially Responsible so we leave the world a better place. So, using one of our staff volunteering days to improve the environment and impact the community aligns to this and is part of our pledge to reach net zero by 2030. To ‘crown it all’, the timing of our volunteering day also ties into The Big Help Out on Monday 8 May.”

Forward Carers also has its own volunteering programme with a wide range of volunteering opportunities to improve the lives of Carers who support a family member or friend living with a disability, serious illness, frailty or addiction. Those interested in volunteering for Forward Carers can contact carerfriendly@forwardcarers.org.uk to find out more.

Forward Carers manages the Birmingham Carers Hub and Walsall Carers Hub providing free information, advice and support for unpaid Carers.