Former chart-topper Kim Wilde credits gardening with helping her find balance in her life and regain confidence when her roller-coaster music career began to take its toll on her mental health.

The Comet: Kim Wilde charity appeal for ThriveKim Wilde charity appeal for Thrive (Image: Archant)

And now Kim, a patron of Stevenage-based green charity Waste Not Want Not, wants more people to realise the powerful benefits gardening can have.

She will be hosting April’s BBC Lifeline Appeal on Sunday afternoon on behalf of the charity Thrive, which uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or those who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable.

She said: “I really believe in the benefits of being outdoors in a living, breathing garden. That’s why I think the work of Thrive is so important.

“When I was 30 I was enjoying a successful music career, with platinum records and a European tour with Michael Jackson under my belt. I decided the time was right to lay down some roots and I moved into a 16th century barn that I renovated and treasured. To the outside world all seemed wonderful, but I was always plagued with anxiety and it badly affected my mental health.

The Comet: Kim Wilde features in BBC charity appeal for on behalf of ThriveKim Wilde features in BBC charity appeal for on behalf of Thrive (Image: Archant)

“One in four of us will experience issues with our mental health.

“Gardening really can help. It has been great therapy for me and can help people get back on top of things and restore balance when it feels like life is veering out of control.”

Improving good health and wellbeing is at the heart of the work of Thrive, a national charity with gardens in Reading, London, Birmingham and Gateshead.

You can find out more about the charity’s work online at

The appeal will be screened at 2pm on BBC1 and repeated on BBC2 on Wednesday morning.

You’ll also be able to see the appeal next week at

You can donate on the website or by calling 0800 011 011.