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About us

Growing Support is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC). Our registered company number is 8354809. Community Interest Companies differ from other companies in that they have to carry out activities which fulfil a social purpose. Our purpose is to tackle loneliness, social isolation and inactivity experienced by people with health and social care needs, particularly older people and people with dementia.

Meet the team behind Growing Support

defaultDale Cranshaw, Director.
Dale is an experienced community development manager with a focus on developing and delivering services for vulnerable people. He is trained in permaculture design and has lived and worked on various organic ‘care farms’ and community growing projects. Dale holds a Professional Development Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture from Coventry University. This qualification is the baseline standard for accreditation for social and therapeutic horticulture services from the Association of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioners (ASTHP). 

Victoria Hill, Director.IMG_0359
Victoria brings strategic and financial experience to Growing Support. Previously she worked as Strategy and Development Director for SafeLives – a national domestic violence charity. Prior to this she worked in strategy and commercial planning for Sainsburys and qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG. Victoria is a Trustee for StreetGames, a national youth development charity that brings doorstep sport to young people in disadvantaged communities and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

John Bowen

John Bowen, Member of the Management Committee.   John works for the Bristol and Avon Law Centre. He was a trustee of landmark Bristol social enterprise, the Watershed Media Centre, for 18 years and is currently Associate Governor of a Bristol primary school. He became a volunteer for Growing Support in spring 2013 and is now also a member of the Management Committee along with Dale and Victoria. In 2014 John won the Bristol Green Volunteer Leader of the Year Award.


Samantha Grief, Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator

Sam Grief small fileSam joined Growing Support from The Big Issue where she looked after the welfare of people experiencing homelessness, as well as managing a team of volunteers. She also brings to the team valuable experience as a volunteer herself at Windmill Hill and Bath City Farms. Prior to this Sam worked for Business in the Community, leading a project helping people who had been homeless back to work. She has a passion for gardening, walking and just generally being outdoors and is also studying for her RHS Level 2 qualification.

Kath LemanKath Leman, Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator.
Kath has worked in the voluntary sector in Bristol, Bath and North Somerset for 18 years, She has worked with young people, in homelessness, with asylum seekers and refugees, and more recently with carers. Kath is in the last few months of study before qualifying as an Occupational Therapist. She has recently enjoyed volunteering with a dementia activity group in North Somerset, she has a Level 2 RHS qualification in Principles of Horticulture and has an allotment.

Linda MacMillan, Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator.Linda MacMillan

Linda has worked in health and social care settings since graduating as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in 2009. She has a wide range of experience working with people with physical and mental health needs, including those with dementia, in the community and in care homes. Linda’s love of horticulture blossomed when, after leaving school, she spent six years working in a garden centre. Linda is now combining her gardening and clinical skills for therapeutic benefit. Linda is currently studying for the OT Award in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture and the RHS Level 2 Practical Horticulture qualification. When not working for Growing Support, Linda continues to work as a bank OT

Impact Measurement Advisory Team

Professor Richard Cheston, Professor of Mental Health Research (Dementia) at the University of the West of England

Dr Jude Hancock, Coordinator of the Dementia Health Integration Team at Bristol Health Partners

Professor Yoav Ben Schlomo, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Bristol University