Project information

Training the disadvantaged to save honey bees.

We are a unique charity harmonising our two core aims - rehabilitating disadvantaged people into society and saving the honey bee - showing that biodiversity conservation, productive agriculture and training the disadvantaged in specific roles are not only compatible, but mutually beneficial.

the project will be ongoing


  • Need


    To promote in the UK, the rehabilitation of our targeted disadvantaged groups and to support their families and dependents by providing, promoting, supporting or organising the education, training and employment opportunities and to assist in finding them employment and in rehabilitating themselves.


    We will give clients an accredited training in woodworking machinery skills to the level of competence that allows them to work within this industrial sector. Our training is based on employers needs as opposed to academic needs.

    Bee hives, that have been made by our clients within their training course, will be donated into appropriate locations where they will be managed organically, with the emphasis on honey bee survival rather than on bee hive products.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To establish Connectar training centre, mentoring rooms and offices


    » To give a City & Guilds backed accredited training in woodworking machinery skills leading to employment, enabling change to behaviour patterns.
    » Mentoring clients to overcome range of barriers disadvantaged jobseekers have - poor basic skills, low self-esteem, behavioural and addiction problems
    » We will provide free effective and meaningful education, training and mentoring for our vulnerable clients
    » Simultaneously we will ensure that they build long term, positive relationships with mentors, support staff or linked outside agencies.

    What success will look like

    Success will be based on the amount of return for every £1 invested, our clients re-offending rate and the number of clients attending and passing courses.

    Aim 2

    Within the woodworking programme, clients will manufacture bee hives and other wildlife habitats


    » Manufactured bee hives to be donated to appropriate locations including the agricultural workplace, allotments, gardens, schools, woodland, and parks
    » clients will be encouraged to develop their manufacturing and design skills as they progress through the course
    » We have sites identified who are waiting to receive over 500 hives to assist in our aim to increase honey bee numbers.
    » Other wildlife habitats will be either be sold to generate income to the charity, or donated to other charitable organisations

    What success will look like

    Success will be in incremental steps starting with manufacturing the 500 bee hives and donating them to the recipients we have waiting. The next target will be a further 500 hives

    Aim 3

    Training and education in organic bee keeping, bee hive management, apitherapy & bee friendly plants


    » Education in all aspects of bee keeping and bee hive management with the emphasis on increasing honey bee numbers.
    » Education in horticulture to ensure 'bee friendly' plants are located in the vicinity of donated hives to ensure year round pollen and nectar for bees
    » To create growing facilities to provide bee friendly plants for planting around donated hives to support our save the bee project.

    What success will look like

    Success will be having sufficient trained organic bee keepers, hive managers and horticulturists to implement our biodiversity aim.

    Aim 4

    To become self funding and create employment opportunities within our organisation for clients and


    » Connectar will expand its training facility into a manufacturing facility. This will generate employment for clients and income for the charity.
    » Clients will be encouraged to develop their practical skills and to become involved in design and marketing.
    » 'Connectar' natural wooden product ranges will be manufactured to create income. Products to include animal shelters, garden furniture and planters.

    What success will look like

    Success will be measured in the number of full time jobs we can create for our clients and to become self funding over a 5 year period

  • Impact


    The project will reverse the decline in the number of honey bees, reduce the number of clients who re-offend and provide a career path and employment for our clients. The current national rate for ex-offenders re-offending is 60% and our target is a quarter of this rate. Success for our biodiversity project will be 100 bee hives fully occupied and over wintered in donated hives.


    There is a risk that both of our projects do not conform to current bureaucratic systems, requirements and programmes in operation. Within our training programme, quality of service and training is more important to us than quantity of clients. Our biodiversity project will be run for the benefit of the bee and not for commercial gain of hive products. These beliefs and desires may alienate us from funding in some directions.


    Funders of this project will receive a bi monthly email report on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities, and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £70,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 Capital costs Machinery, tools, computers & office furniture for training workshop
      £15,000 Revenue costs Volunteer, Training, course costs,
      £5,000 Admin, Management, Vehicle Printing, Phone, Website, internet, Insurance, Professional Fees, Vehicle and fuel
      £11,000 Premises Rent, utilities
      £9,000 materials Basic materials to make beehives
      £20,000 Salary Wages

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    West Mercia Police Crime Commissioner £20,000 Guaranteed
    gc gibson £5,250 Guaranteed
    edward cadbury trust £3,000 Guaranteed
    Michael Marsh charitable trust £2,000 Guaranteed
    Bewley trust £50 Guaranteed
    HDH Wills £500 Guaranteed
    The Rowlands Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    Bernard Sunley Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    CB & HH Taylor Trust £750 Guaranteed
    The Leigh Trust £1,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Redditch Worcestershire serving the West Midlands and surrounding areas.


    Connectar training - beneficiaries will be the disadvantaged clients, their families and dependants.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Connectar has identified the need for this programme to provide credible advice and support to others looking to change their lives. We believe by way of using a person who has 'walked in the same shoes' as the clients is a highly effective way of engaging some of the most excluded and marginalised people in society.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John Proto

    Chairman and co-founder. 30 years in Sales and marketing. He has the vision, knowledge and expertise to lead and ensure this project is a success

    Neil Higgitt

    Secretary and co-founder. 30 years in Sales and marketing and 15 years as a company director. Ex member of The Royal Navy

    Susie Charnock

    Trustee - Psychological assistant.,Bsc Forensic & Criminology, worked in the Prison service running thinking skills programme, SOR, Alcohol Awareness.

    Christopher Donnelly

    Treasurer - MA in Business studies. Over 30 years of experience in accountancy and treasurer positions.


will pay materials for 1 beehive