Project information

The Green House at Emmaus Brighton&Hove

To create a garden project on the Emmaus site which will become a sustainable business. We will grow plants, herbs & vegetables for sale in the shop or for use in the Community kitchens. The project will offer training and work experience for Companions (residents) in horticulture and retail.

July 2012 - March 2013

Charity information: Sussex Emmaus

Sussex Emmaus logo
  • Need


    The Community intends to better utilise all the garden related products donated to the Community which would otherwise be sent to landfill. The Community is working with local residents to encourage recylcing and reuse and will focus on garden related items as well as household goods. We will encourage and support the reuse of someone else's unwanted goods. The project will also improve the appearance of the extensive grounds onsite enjoyed by our customers and visitors as well as Companions.


    By offering local residents a place where they can donate their unwanted garden items - plants, herbs, veg, as well as garden product - which will be offered for sale in our new garden shop. We will use our creative flair for upcycling and show people there is beauty to be had in goods intended for landfill. The shop will be open all year with seasonal trends and produce on offer. There will be a very creative approach adopted which will be unlike other garden centres.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide training and work experience for Companions and volunteers in horticulture and retail


    » Employ a qualified full time Garden Project Manager who will offer training and provide support to Companions and volunteers
    » To work towards delivering training which would have a qualification e.g. NVQ

    What success will look like

    Success will be having Companions and volunteers involved everday in the project working towards gaining a training acreditation

    Aim 2

    To provide fresh seasonal produce for sale in the shop as well as for use in the Community kitchens


    » Use the extensive grounds on site to cultivate fresh produce by improving the nursery and growing areas
    » Offer the produce for sale in the shop as well as in meals served in the Community cafe
    » Use the fresh produce in meals served from the Community kitchen to Companions at lunchtime and evenings

    What success will look like

    Success will be gaining a reputation from our customers as a source of fresh produce as an alternative to the local supermarket. By Companions having a more healthy diet

    Aim 3

    To provide much needed income for the Community from a sustainable business


    » Open a retail garden shop on the Emmaus site which will sit alongside the exisitng 2 shops and cafe
    » Offer for sale plants, herbs, veg as well as garden related produce such as tools, equipment, books, planters, furniture
    » Use a creative approach to offer for sale unique products using unwanted goods and tranforming them into beautiful objects

    What success will look like

    Success will be achieving a regular income from the Green House project which will cover the running costs of the Emmaus Community which provides a home for up to 42 Companions

  • Impact


    The site of the Green House project will improve the look of the grounds for our vistors, customers and Companions. The site, on a former convent, has significant historical value. It will be seen as a "destination" for customers keen to support the work of the Community and provide another reason for visiting and shopping here. It's business income will be sustained over many years and therefore enable the Community to support its social aims and objectives and provide a home for Companions


    The ability to gain funding for the project from trust making bodies or grants. Ensure we seek funding from as wide an audience as possible.
    The local competition from garden centres and nurseries. Create a unique selling point by utilising the recycled and upcycled goods element.
    Companions who leave the Community at short notice. Ensure a team of volunteers are recruited to support the project.
    Having the essential horticultural skills to supervise the work. Employ a Garden Project Manager


    By direct reporting on our website and in our printed newsletters or e newsletter. By advertising supporters in the Green House retail shop. By offering our donors personal tours of the project to see the work in action.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £104,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £56,100 Resurface outside terrace Structural work to existing outside terrace, create a decked sales area and nursery
      £22,000 New roof, guttering & downpipe structural work to retail area
      £25,900 Refit retail space create a retail unit within the old boiler room
  • Background


    The Emmaus Community sits within a densely populated suburb of Brighton & Hove and has been at the heart of the local community since 1997 when it opened to Companions. The site was a former convent and is of historical importance therefore any developments are considered in keeping with the listed building status. Emmaus prides itself on offering a tranquil open space for locals in which they can shop, eat and meet for community events. The Companions are at he heart of all we do


    Local residents will have access to part of the grounds which have been previously been for private use. The project will provide low cost, recycled and locally grown product for local customers, many of whom are on low income. Companions will benefit from training and work in horticulture & retail - of use if they wish to seek employment. Companions will have access to home grown seasonal produce at mealtimes, thus reducing the cost of food. Cafe users will benefit from home grown produce

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have established a successful social enterprise where local residents support the 2 shops and cafe already on site. The Community has displayed a skill for reusing and recycling household goods which can now be transferred to specialise in garden product. The Companions have proven they can run the businesses - many utilise their existing skills from previous work, or, learn new skills. The Companions are very keen to support this project and give another reason to visit the Community

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Garden Project Manager

    Has been recruited with a passion for gardening as well as a creative flair. Will lead the project and offer training and support to Companions

    Business Manager

    Responsible for the business activities at Emmaus. Will develop the garden brand alongside the existing 3 businesses currently on our site


    By nature of the organisation, a large number of Companions will be actively involved in the project in the months, years to come


    A volunteer who has worked in the grounds for 12 years growing and propagating a small selection of plants and shrubs to sell in the shop