Organic Blooms Healing Communities Project

by Jo Wright/Organic Blooms in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

£9,021

£25,000 target 25 days left
36% 123 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 31st July 2022 at 12:00pm

We grow flowers and in the process transform lives. Help us expand our service to reach more of the vulnerable and isolated in our community

by Jo Wright/Organic Blooms in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Who are we?

Natureworks Training CIC has been running community based horticulture projects for 22 years.  We work with some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in our community.  Our certified organic cut flower farm in South Gloucestershire (Organic Blooms) harnesses the incredible power of the natural environment to heal, support, train and employ those who face significant barriers to work.  Our amazing team share the same dreams and aspirations as we all do.  At Organic Blooms, we hope to make these dreams a reality.

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What do we do?

We believe that the right kind of work is life changing - providing structure, distraction from pain or intrusive thoughts, friendship, a potential income, self worth and hope for the future - and what could be a better place to grow and develop, than on an organic flower farm!

Our team of amazing horticulturalists and florists run over 100 session per week to people in our local area who are referred through NHS and Local Authority teams because they are in need of specialist support, due to disabilities or support needs.  They may be struggling with enduring mental illness, autistic spectrum disorder, or learning difficulties.  We have designed our flower farm to be welcoming, supportive and to bring the best out of people.

Our team is diverse, inclusive, grounded, hilarious at times, and there is never a dull day!

'My best day is when I look across our flower field and see groups of people being quietly productive, absorbed in their work, helping each other and feeling satisfied with a good job done.' (Jo, founder director)

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What is the Healing Communities Project?

We held our own during the pandemic - demand for our flowers increased in some areas, but weddings and event flower sales were hit hard.  Our team valued the oasis of our flower farm and the structure of a work routine even more than ever.

Rebuilding after 2 unprecedented years of global anxiety and isolation is a challenge for every organisation, but especially for small community businesses working with the most vulnerable people in society.

We have had more enquiries than ever post-pandemic as people struggle to re-engage with society, particularly those who were already vulnerable, isolated or anxious, plus so many young people in crisis, and more recently, Ukrainian refugees. The Healing Communities project is about reaching out to these people and showing them, through structured, accessible gardening and floristry sessions, that they can manage their anxiety, their depression, their panic attacks in our supported, friendly and safe space, and start to live again.

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So why do we need your help?

We want to open our flower farm up this Summer to individuals and groups across our community who are in need of a short term, bite-sized dose of care and attention to get them back on the right track. This work is difficult to fund through statutory funding, since the need may not be 'substantial' or 'critical', but in our experience, a small intervention now will prevent a crisis in the future.  Covid has left so many people 'on the edge', as has the Ukraine war, the cost of living crisis and concern over climate change.  We are carrying such heavy burdens in 2022. Our 9 acre floral oasis can offer a healing space to those who need it.  We will take self referrals, referrals from GPs, green prescribers and family and friends.  We will promote Healing Communities through schools, libraries, on social media and through other voluntary sector organisations.  We want to reach as many people as possible this year to bring some sunshine back into their lives.

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How will we use the funding?

We will use the funding raised to pay staff costs and materials to run 10 hours of extra sessions per week, for groups of up to 15 people.  We aim to work with 300+ people in need.  We particularly want to reach groups and individuals who are isolated - children who are struggling to attend school due to anxiety - the legacy of COVID; older people who are afraid to venture outside again; front line workers who are burnt out.  There are many emotional and mental scars left from the past 2 years that we can heal through well designed and delivered horticulture and floristry session.

Bringing the community into the heart of our farm, either by way of local volunteers, customers, corporate events or visiting community groups is something we encourage at our flower farm.  It breaks down barriers, challenges perceptions,  provides role models and broadens everyone's horizons.

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Your donations can make this a reality for our community.  We are not afraid of hard work, have a proven track record and an amazing, capable team who can make this happen.  

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We will be sharing some personal stories throughout our campaign about what work at Organic Blooms has done for the people who work here.

We thank you for your support - please send this link to anyone who you think may be interested in supporting us.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£10 or more

A goody bag of organic flower plugs to collect

Fill your garden with colour this Summer with our goody bag filled with organic cut flower plug plants. we guarantee a minimum of 15 plug plants - and 5 different species, including cosmos, larkspur, scabious, statice, ammi and helichrysum. Your own cutting patch - give it a try - you'll never look back! Collection only

£10 or more

2 of 10 claimed

Organic Herb Garden for collection

The first 10 people to pledge £10 will receive a half price organic herb collection. Choose 5 pots of organic herbs for your windowsill or garden, all grown by us using certified organic compost and biodegradable pots. Choose from basil, coriander, parsley, dill, thyme, sage, mint and oregano. Collect form our farm as your convenience, any time this Summer.

£20 or more

Donate a sapling tree or shrub

We aim to plant 1000 plus trees and shrubs on our flower farm this year. These will serve multiple functions - adding to biodiversity, offering natural wind breaking on our very wind swept site and eventually developing into a useful foliage crop. Feel free to come and help us plant them in the autumn if you want to get hands on!

£30 or more

2 of 250 claimed

Organic Cotton canvas bag

Pledge £30 and you will receive one of our really sturdy organic cotton canvas bag, which has a hand drawn jam jar of flowers image from our logo printed on it. This is a unique gift, made specially for us by the amazing Social Enterprise ReWrap who support women in India. Definitely a bag for life!

£40 or more

Sponsor a bed of flowers

If you would like to really feel connected to our flower farm, why not sponsor a bed of flowers for the season? Your donation will cover the cost of seed, compost and plant supports and you will receive an emailed photo of your bed with your name on it as a thank you

£50 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Grow your own flowers: annual cut flower selection

Pledge £50 or more and we will give you plants to create your own cutting patch this Summer. All suitable for organic growing, we will supply 24 well rooted annual cut flower plants that will produce an abundance of flowers for your garden. Unfortunately we can't post these, but you may like a visit to our farm to collect them!

£80 or more

0 of 50 claimed

4 buckets of beautiful organic flowers to collect

Space them out across the season, or have them all in one go... fill your house with beauty, or gift to a friend - this is a reward that really does keep on giving. Buckets of our seasonal certified organic cut flowers are for collection from our site in South Gloucestershire only, not delivered. Each bucket will contain a minimum of 30 stems.

£300 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Sponsor a potting station

We have no natural shade on our site so we would like to create a potting station near our new classroom which has a shade cover allowing people to work in comfort. The station will also be designed by our trainees and workers so that it meets their access needs, everything is to hand, and we can encourage independence

£500 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Half day floristry or horticulture workshop for 10

We will run a bespoke workshop for a group of 10 people on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, to be agreed mutually, in floristry or horticulture. We will provide all materials, tuition and the all important tea and cake! Great for a group of friends, a special celebration or a staff team building day

£10 or more

10 of 10 claimed

A bucket of beautiful organic flowers to collect

When they’re gone, they’re gone… The first 10 people to pledge £10 or more will receive a bucket of our seasonal organic flowers to collect from our farm any time this season (until the end of October). Fill your house with flowers or gift to a friend and help your community at the same time - it’s a win-win!

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