I have had a long background in horticulture, I attended Hadlow agriculture college for two years when I was training as a plant manager with Homebase, then with Sainsburys. Along with the Sainsburys manager training course, I then worked with them for 5 years then at other independent garden centres for 16 years. I loved my job.
As a result of a relationship breakdown in 2017 I became homeless, I lost everything. I had to live in a caravan in my friends garden, I then had a breakdown and had to be looked after by family.
Eventually I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was given various drugs and some of them have left me with short term memory loss.
I then found Gary Etherington and Chris Brock who were running a garden group. I joined them and we became good friends. In April 2018, when I started to feel at home and comfortable with them we started Blossoms of Hope and a whole new chapter in my life.
Our 5 year plan was to have 3 gardens, we have already passed this with 3 gardens in the first 2 years.
Our first garden was a community garden on the Millfield Road Allotments in Faversham. We now have three gardens, along with Faversham we have one at the Singleton Environment Centre in Ashford, and at the counselling centre in Whitfield, Dover.
In 2019 our Faversham garden has won two awards, a silver for our wildlife garden with the Kent Wildlife Trust and from Britain In Bloom in collaboration with the RHS, we received a level 3 advancing, which we are over the moon with.
We received our first grant from the National Lottery Fund, they believed in us and so we were able to expand.
My dream for the charity is to have a Blossoms of Hope community garden for good mental health in every town in the South East, to offer help and advice to anyone who needs it.
It is a place where you can talk openly about your own mental health in a safe and supported environment, you can also take part in our woodworking sessions or let go of your creative side with the art therapy sessions.