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Project information

The Garden Village; Social Enterprise

The Garden Village is a proposed social enterprise project that has emerged out of DHI’s successful ‘Gardening and Allotment Project’.

Through the employment and involvement of those who are socially excluded we will empower people to gain meaningful occupation and employable skills.

12 months to set up then it is expected the enterprise will become self funding

Charity information: Developing Health and Independence

Developing Health and Independence logo
  • Need


    The current allotment project is unable to expand in its current location and as such is limited in the support and training that it can offer volunteers and service users. The government is placing an increasing focus on ensuring the population are fully employed. Increasingly, long term unemployment is not an option. There is a need for projects to be able to offer tangible skills and training to support people to return to work.


    We will offer a therapeutic and meaningful opportunity to provide education and training and contribute to the employability of those who have in the past struggled to gain meaningful employment as a result of social exclusion and lack of employable skills. Work in gardening is a popular choice among ex-service users of DHI, and the charity’s allotment project has provided many with meaningful un-paid employment, especially during weekends when there is little to do that is affordable.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To have secured land and premises and built the infrastructure necessary for the garden business.


    » Project development during the first 12 months

    What success will look like

    To have completed ground works, and installed the irrigation and nursery infrastructure by April 2011

    Aim 2

    To support excluded groups to improve their employment prospects


    » Run regular taster sessions for volunteers to encourage involvement in the enterprise
    » Develop personal involvement plans with volunteers, with regular reviews
    » Support volunteers to access employment with the enterprise or other schemes.

    What success will look like

    For at least 5 DHI clients to attend voluntarily on at least 10 days during every 3 month period.

    Aim 3

    To pursue an accredited training and teaching regime within the nursery


    » Establish training programme with accredited qualifications

    What success will look like

    To set up and run a formal teaching course, leading to a recognized qualification by Sept 2012, with at least 5 students enrolled.

  • Impact


    •Garden Village concept – a community resource where people can be involved in supporting the charity, learn about their garden, the natural environment and how to enhance the natural habitat for wildlife and local plant species within their gardens.
    •More than just a garden centre/landscaping and garden maintenance service
    •Customer is helping the community and local environment when buying from us: ‘feel-good’ factor.
    •Non-profit making organization also helps in keeping prices competitive.


    Competition from existing Garden Centres within the local area: This project will be marketed as social enterprise and will be able to offer specialist plant expertise through stock limited to herbaceous plants.

    Failure to acquire land, tools or training support. Through our existing allotment project and services we have built up a number of contacts with individuals and organizations who are able to assist with this project.


    We will produce an e-mail review of the enterprise development quarterly with a view to producing an annual report once the social enterprise has become established. Donors will also be invited to use the centre and to education days.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Development Development, and start up of the social enterprise
  • Background


    The project will be located in B&NES and will contribute towards a growing market for home grown organic products. A significant proportion of the population of Bath are home owners and potential customers of the Garden Village


    People who are socially excluded, who have struggled to gain skills or training to enhance their skills and abilities to gain employment. The Garden Village will also become a local community resource for information and advice around gardening queries and could be developed to included services such as garden maintenance for elderly and vulnerable local residents.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    DHI has experience and expertise working with socially excluded groups, both therapeutically and in employment, education and training we also have experience of successfully employing ex-service users within its services, and its expertise in supporting service users to set up and manage meaningful occupation activities, including the management of budgets.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Louis Wearing:

    Louis runs our allotment project and his expertise, enthusiasm and drive will be essential to developing the project and ensuring its success.

    Rosie Phillips:

    Rosie is DHI’s Chief Executive and has experience establishing social enterprises through the setting up and development of DHI as a charity.