ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is delighted to share that our partner, Vitax, will be helping injured serving personnel on their road to recovery through the benefits of gardening.

The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Stanford Hall has received 100 75-litre bags of Vitax compost to help deliver a year’s worth of Horticultural Therapy service. The service, provided by HighGround, one of our partner charities, forms an essential part of an individual’s rehabilitation journey by focusing on the therapeutic benefits of gardening, such as providing a sense of purpose, hope and achievement.

To witness first-hand the difference the donation will make to patients, a tour of the DMRC outdoor gardens took place in March.


Paul Gooding, Vitax’s Chairman said: “DMRC is a fantastic facility and it is hugely rewarding to see what a difference gardening can make to both the mental health and physical wellbeing of servicemen and women. We have worked with The Soldiers’ Charity for the past two years and are thrilled to work with one of its partners on such an innovative programme, which is changing lives as a result of alternative therapies.”

The DMRC is one of the world’s leading clinical rehabilitation centres for the Armed Forces. The centre combines neurological and complex trauma treatment with a state-of-the-art suite of rehabilitative facilities on one site, including a neurological wing funded by our charity,  gardens and greenhouse.

Anna Baker Cresswell, Executive Director of HighGround Therapeutic Gardens at DMRC, explains: “Since the new greenhouse at DMRC was handed over to HighGround in March 2019, we have delivered 777 one-to-one sessions of Horticultural Therapy to 230 patients, as well as 51 group sessions, which are widely used for neurological patients.

“The donation from Vitax, along with The Soldiers’ Charity’s continued support, will enable HighGround to continue its invaluable work to help servicemen and women return to service or onto the next stage of their lives.”

Andy Wright, HighGround’s Therapeutic Gardens Manager, commented: “Horticultural Therapy helps patients with functional skills such as bending and picking things up from different heights. They often find themselves talking to other patients too which is self-therapy and it’s good to offer others an ear to just listen.”

We are thrilled to be working with Vitax, HighGround and DMRC to provide the best possible care for injured members of our Armed Forces. Partnership working is a cornerstone of our activity and, each year, we fund up to 100 other charities and organisations that deliver support to the Army family where most needed.

You can find out more about our grant to The DMRC programme here.

To find out more about Vitax, visit: www.vitax.co.uk

To find out more about HighGround, visit: www.highground-uk.org


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