Our team

The Therapy Garden combines the expertise and talents of experienced staff, trustees and volunteers. The charity is indebted to our patrons; actress and local resident, Dame Penelope Keith DBE, DL and Young Horticulturist of the Year 2013, Jez Stamp, and we appreciate their ongoing support.

OUR PATRONS

I was delighted to be asked to become a Patron of the Therapy Garden, especially as I am a gardener at heart. I have seen at first hand from similar projects, how those with special needs, be they physical or mental, can benefit from a close contact with the earth and nature. I wish this project and all those involved every success.

Dame Penelope Keith DBE, DL

 

Gardening is my passion. Working with plants gives me a tremendous sense of wellbeing and perspective. I hope my knowledge and experience will benefit the fantastic work already done by the Therapy Garden which shows the power that gardening has to help everyone, whatever their needs.

Jez Stamp, Horticulturist of the Year 2013

CENTRE STAFF

Sally Mills – Centre Manager

Sally took over as Centre Manager in July 2016, having been employed as The Therapy Garden’s fundraiser for the previous two years. Before joining The Therapy Garden, Sally managed independent public events and festivals, worked in event fundraising in the arts and handled national PR and communications within the charity sector. Sally enjoys picking up gardening tips from our horticulturists and buying local produce.

Sally Wooding – Deputy Centre Manager and Fundraiser

Sally’s background is firmly rooted in the hospitality industry with experience in managing both corporate and private sector events. Sally takes care of corporate fundraising and organising events to raise the profile of the charity. Sally can often be found in The Therapy Garden kitchen making delicious chutney and preserves for our shop.

Rachel Allen – PR and Fundraising

Rachel is responsible for fundraising from charitable trusts and foundations and for promoting and raising the profile of The Therapy Garden. Rachel has previously fundraised for local group Isabel’s Sparkle, and worked in corporate pensions and accountancy. Rachel enjoys spending time in the garden with her children and is gradually becoming a better gardener thanks to her mother’s guidance.

Andrew Kassell – Administration Assistant

Andrew joined The Therapy Garden as a volunteer and has become an invaluable member of the team, helping with general administration. Andrew is a keen sportsman; he has been the General Secretary of a local cricket club for eight years and also holds a Level 2 European Computer Drivers License.

Kira Hardy– Senior Horticulturist

Kira has worked with young offenders within the prison system, has experience working with clients recovering from addiction, along with many years experience working in the horticulture industry. Kira enjoys visiting farm shops to buy local produce and has put her sign writing and illustration skills to use in our garden and shop.

Mark Coupland – Horticulturist

Mark joined the charity as a part-time horticulturist, having previously run a horticulture social enterprise project for the YMCA and worked as a horticulture tutor for adults with mental health needs. Mark completed his NVQ Level 3 in Youth Work and has a degree in Landscape and Amenity Management. Mark enjoys working with young people and using his gardening expertise to help them gain confidence and develop.

Emma-Louise Crofts – Horticulturist

Emma’s varied background includes worked as a shrub specialist for an independent nursery and volunteering roles for the National Trust and Bristol Botanic Gardens. Emma holds an RHS Level 2 Horticulture Qualification, and has also completed a Thrive social and therapeutic horticulture qualification. Emma currently runs a gardening club at Treloar’s for residential students, as well as a community gardening project in Alton.

Bryan Starkey – Chairman of Trustees

Bryan is a consultant biochemist at The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. A Normandy resident for 30 years, Bryan first became involved in The Therapy Garden when Ann Adey, founder of the charity, needed some help building a produce display area. He was invited to become a trustee and seven years ago, became chair of the board of trustees. Bryan has seen the charity grow from strength to strength and says that he is deeply indebted to the staff and volunteers for all the wonderful work they do.