Hope Springs Horticulture provide horticultural therapy sessions for adults experiencing enduring mental health difficulties. This includes schizophrenia, bi-polar, depression, anxiety disorders and associated cerebral disorders. We also support individuals with a secondary diagnosis, for example someone recovering from a serious physical illness who is at risk of Depression due to social isolation. We cater for people who are in recovery and our main aim is as a preventative service to help keep people well.
The aims of the projects are to:
· Maintain Mental Wellbeing
· Promote Healthy Living
· Promote Healthy Eating
· Build Confidence
· Reduce Social Isolation
· Provide support in moving into Voluntary and Paid Employment.
· Provide support in moving into Education.
The projects have been running for over 15 years and were previously managed by Rethink. However due to cuts in funding the projects were due to be closed in September 2011.
Faced with the closure of the projects and staff redundancies the team got together to try and find a way to keep the projects open. The projects have always been very successful and are well thought of by those that attend and agencies that we work with.
It was decided that we should set up as a Community Interest Company with the aim to develop a social enterprise. So in October 2011 'Hope Springs Horticulture' was formed (the name was suggested by Mel, one of our Worksop members!)
The company is run by Helen Power and Anita Burnett who have thirty years experience between them of mental health and running horticultural therapy projects.
We aim to be able to generate enough income ourselves through Social Enterprise to cover the basic overheads of the projects and apply for funding to cover staffing.
We are fortunate that our overheads are minimal as our partnerships with the National Trust and Ashfield District Council let us use their sites for free, not charging us for rent or utilities. We also have no start up costs as the projects have been running for so long. We have cabins, tools and equipment needed to continue the projects, which Rethink have kindly let us keep.
Cheapside Allotment Project - Worksop
Based on the Cheapside Allotments in Manton, within walking distance of Worksop town centre, the project has been running since 1997. The project consists of six allotment plots and is equipped with a secure cabin which has electricity and water supplied. The project concentrates on growing fruit and vegetables and is supported by the local community who regularly come to the project to buy fresh produce. We have been approached by a number of allotment holders who would like to purchase young vegetable plants from us in the future. This links into the social enterprise as we can make a considerable profit for minimal outlay.
Clumber Park Project
Situated in the heart of the National Trust’s Clumber Park, the project has been running since 2000. Consisting of a plant nursery, secret garden and ornamental potager. The project has a cabin with electricity and outside water supply. The beautiful setting adds to the therapeutic value of the project with volunteers having the opportunity to work alongside National Trust staff in the park itself. Through working in the nursery volunteers are able to gain practical skills which are invaluable for those moving on into education or employment.
Sutton Lawns Project Based in the old greenhouse complex in Sutton Lawns pleasure ground, a short distance from Sutton-in-Ashfield town centre. The project has been running since 1996. The project has a cabin with electricity and water and consists of a large glasshouse, herb garden, wildlife garden and vegetable plot. The project specialises in propagation and is able to start plants from seed before they are transferred to Clumber and Cheapside for growing on and selling.