In recognition of HighGround’s expertise in providing horticultural therapy and land-based employment-focused experiences to former and serving military personnel, Greenwich Hospital has awarded the charity a grant of £24,448.

The grant will enable HighGround to run its dedicated therapy sessions at Stanford Hall, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) near Loughborough and fund the delivery of a dedicated Rural Experience Week for eight RN and RM service personnel at the end of April.

HighGround provides expert support and guidance through outdoor-based projects to enable people in their recovery journey towards medical fitness.

Their work at DMRC Stanford Hall uses structured outdoor activities and adaptive ways of working in a wide range of horticultural tasks and projects, the benefits of which include teamwork, physical endurance, stamina and concentration and are led by HighGround’s Horticultural Therapist, herself a registered Occupational Therapist.

The Rural Experience Weeks at Bicton College in Devon are geared towards individuals who can benefit from a week of working outdoors, with the focus on wellbeing and recovery at a slower pace, with time and space to think about the next steps in their recovery journey.

HighGround’s expertise in helping personnel realise and develop an interest in land-based employment opportunities also supports personnel on their journey towards employment outside of the military in a safe and proven setting.

Anna Baker Cresswell, founder of HighGround and Head of Fundraising and Partnerships, commented: “The grant from Greenwich Hospital enables us to provide our horticultural therapy sessions and Rural Experience week to personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who might otherwise would have missed out on these unique experiences.”

Jonathan Ball, Director of Grants, Greenwich Hospital, commented: “In its service of the armed forces community, HighGround has a superb track record of introducing members of our community to the mental and physical benefits of horticulture and land-based employment, and so we are pleased to partner with them as the trusted provider in this space to personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.”

HighGround was founded in 2013 by Anna Baker Cresswell and receives no statutory funding, relying on grant-making trusts and foundations, public donations and corporate support to deliver their programmes.