Organic Blooms is having another growth spurt!

Jo Wright/Organic Blooms profile

Project by Jo Wright/Organic Blooms

£3,825

raised so far

62

supporters

Help us build a new classroom and pack house at our certified organic flower farm to create 6 more accessible jobs for our wonderful team

We're still collecting donations

On the 13th May 2022 we'd raised £3,825 with 62 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Who are we?

Natureworks Training CIC and its sister Social Enterprise Organic Blooms, are the culmination of the vision, creativity, and 22 years hard work of Jo and Wendy and what an interesting and inspirational journey!  A journey that is turning its next corner - with your help.

1643388090_jo_and_wendy.jpg

What do we do?

We believe that the right kind of work is life changing - providing structure, distraction, an income and self worth - and what could be better than working on an organic flower farm!

Jo: 'Fresh out of University, with a degree in horticulture, I knew that plants alone weren't enough - it was their relationship with people that I was most interested in!'

Wendy:  'For me, mainstream floristry wasn't fulfilling me - I needed something more grounded, more real...'

1643397259_thomas.jpg

27 years later we have an award winning social enterprise, certified organic, flower farm that provides structure, training, employment, inspiration and hope for over 30 people with support needs.

The shocking reality

In 2020-21 just 5.1% of working age adults with a learning disability and receiving support were in paid employment,

and only 9% of people using secondary mental health services are employed. (NHS digital)

From our 25 years of working with people who have long term support needs, we know that they have the same dreams and aspirations as anyone else, including the desire to have a paid job.

We pride ourselves in the fact that we are really good at what we do!  We don't trade on the 'sympathy vote' - we produce a quality product that customers' value and we have adapted our business so that people who are normally excluded from the labour market are central to its production and share the rewards of its success - both a sense of pride and wages! 

1644592219_zinnia_harvesting.jpg

So why do we need your help?

Social enterprises such as ours typically cost around 30% more to run than an equivalent commercial business due to their higher staffing and support ratios and accommodations to create an inclusive workplace.  All our profits are reinvested into job creation, support, and building the best, most accessible working and training environment. We strive to create the best possible working environment that you could wish for.

Jo: '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.'

Our employees and trainees want to come to work every day and feel part of something special and bigger than themselves.

Despite our success as a social enterprise, our revenue income doesn't enable us to make large capital purchases or scale up quickly enough to meet demand. 

In 2018 we ran an amazing Crowdfunding campaign to purchase a florist studio and multispan polytunnel

1644585672_workshop.jpg

1643549824_florist_studio.jpg

1644585950_multispan_polytunnel.jpg

This took us to the next level and enabled us to take on a big national contract supplying much larger volumes of certified organic plants and cut flowers to Abel&Cole, an organic subscription delivery service.  This enabled us to employ an extra 6 people with support needs.

1644587079_montage_of_trainees_2021.jpg

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.  

What do we need?

Quite simply, we have run out of space to accommodate all our wonderful trainees and workers and have space for packing and dispatch as our volumes increase.  

We believe that providing a high quality, well designed environment for people shows that they are valued and enables them to perform to their best.  We need to organise workspaces with thought to encourage healthy work practices, to enable independence and efficiency and reduce stress. 

We would love a simple, wooden building which is light and airy and can be used as a classroom and rest area.  It can also double up as a workshop space for the huge range of  community courses and school groups that we are planning to host this  year, now that restrictions are nearly over.  Bringing the community in, 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.

1644587465_1644587461115.png

With a new building, we will also be able to renovate our original building and create a purpose built packing room and kitchen for a new microenterprise that we want to launch this year - supplying certified organic edible flowers and cut herbs.

1649916666_m_and_k_harvesting_mint.jpg

With inclusivity at the core of everything we do, we feel that this is an ideal enterprise for people who have support needs and we intend to create 4-6 paid job roles specifically for people who cannot access mainstream employment by developing this new enterprise.1644589130_kayleigh_harvesting_petals.jpg

Your donations can make this a reality for us.  We are not afraid of hard work and have an amazing, capable team who can make this happen.  We also have a several established routes to market so this is not a shot in the dark - we will be able to create between 4 and 6 new sustainable paid jobs if we can build new work spaces.  These jobs are sometimes the key to recovery, inclusion and individuals finally becoming the people they were meant to be.

1649916800_trainee_thank_you_shot.jpg

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.  This campaign only runs for 4 weeks.

Become a fundraiser

Want to raise funds for this cause? It's simple to get started.

Start fundraising

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£95 or more

Celebration event for 2 with organic goody bag

The first 25 people to pledge £90 will secure a ticket for exclusive access for 2 people to a celebration event at our flower farm on Saturday 10th September 2022 from 6pm - 8pm to officially open the new building and celebrate the opportunities it has provided. We will be serving canapes and fizz and you will also receive one of our canvas bags filled with ethical goodies to take away

£10 or more

Entry to draw to win signed Botanical Inks book

This book, kindly donated and signed by the author Babs Behan, shows you how to extract environmentally sustainable colour from the landscape and use it to create natural dyes for textiles, clothing and paper. Your pledge will enter you into a draw to win this book. Babs has also kindly donated 2 places on a practical botanical inks workshop held at our flower farm - scroll down the rewards section to find it!

£15 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!

£20 or more

Your name on our wall of thanks

To thank you for your support we will hand paint your name on our supporters mural, specially designed for us by a local artist, on the back of our new building

£25 or more

Entry in our draw to win 4 Abel&Cole Vegetable box

Abel&Cole have kindly donated 4 of their organic vegetable boxes, delivered to your door (not all at once!) Pledge £25 to enter a draw for a chance to win this voucher

£25 or more

£25 - entry into draw to win an ethical hamper

The lovely founders of the Social Supermarket have donated one of their amazing hampers packed full of goodies made by Social Enterprises and worth around £80. A £25 pledge will give you one entry into the raffle for this unique prize

£30 or more

£30 Reward - Organic Cotton canvas bag

Pledge £30 and you will receive an 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

£40 or more

Entry into a draw to win a year of flowers

Worth over £400, your pledge will put you in the draw to win a monthly bouquet delivered anywhere in the UK. Keep it for yourself or gift it to a friend or loved one. In the Winter months we offer a wreath and other floral gifts.

£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

Flower Farm tour, floral demonstration & cream tea

The first 25 people to pledge £50 will secure a place on a unique farm tour and floral demonstration, topped off with a home made organic cream tea and prosecco. This event will take place on Sunday 11th September from 10am -1pm and 2pm - 5pm

£70 or more

Yoga among the flowers

Unwind and get away from it all with this unique reward, kindly donated by one of our local yoga practitioners. Your session will be designed to maximise your wellbeing and draw form the beautiful setting at Organic Blooms. Gong vibrations will deepen your sense of relaxation and oneness. Pledge while you can - spaces are limited to 12 for this reward. Date to be confirmed

£70 or more

Mindful self-compassion masterclass

Another amazing donation from the wonderful Jo Jones of Hush Therapy. Hosted on our flower farm, Jo is offering 12 places on a half day masterclass, which will give you practical tools and the inspiration to put yourself at the centre of your universe, for it is only form this secure base that we can reach out to others. The session will be on Friday 9th September 2pm - 4.30pm. Places are limited to 15, so pledge early to secure your place!

£90 or more

Organic soap making workshop

Kelly, the founder of leading organic beauty brand Happy Holistics has kindly donated a half day workshop where you will learn how to make certified organic soap, incorporating flowers picked from our farm

£120 or more

Sponsor our new classroom furniture

Your donation will buy a desk and 2 chairs for our new classroom - this is great if you are a business and would like to support a community organisation as part of your corporate social responsibility. We will be happy to share with you the social impact of your donation

£150 or more

£150 - 2 hour :1 consultation session

Tap into over 25 years of experience from Directors Jo and Wendy covering Floristry, Social and Therapeautic Horticulture, Social Enterprise and Organic growing. We will work to your wish list and can offer session in-person or via zoom

£250 or more

Sponsor a power point projector and screen

We are always looking for new ways to teach our trainees and staff. Many of the people we work with have learning support needs and we find that visual learning and learning through doing are by far the most accessible and successful methods. We would like to move into the 21st century and install a power point projector and screen in our new classroom to aid our teaching on those rainy days when we can't be outside.

£500 or more

Half day team building event for up to 12 people

The ideal venue for team building - a 9 acre flower farm? - we think so! We will host activities and a tour, plus provide light refreshments for a team of up to 12. There will also be space provided for you to host a team meeting. Morning, or afternoon sessions available.

£500 or more

Sponsor a rotavator

Our flower farm is on a heavy clay soil. As organic growers, its all about the soil for us, and over the past 11 years on our site we have added thousands on tonnes of organic matter. We use minimum tillage methods and have gone 'no dig' where we can. We do, however, have several very poorly structured areas of the farm that need cultivation to a good depth, and a rotavator would be a very exciting piece of kit for our trainees to learn to use

£1,000 or more

Whole day team building event for up to 15 people

Fully hosted by us, but with time for you to have a team get together, we will build a unique team day around your requirements, with access to all of the facilities at our 9 acre certified organic flower farm

£1,000 or more

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

£60 or more

A place on Babs Behan's Botanical Inks workshop

Learn how to extract natural dyes from plants on this unique workshop run by author, natural dye artisan and founding producer of Bristol Cloth: Babs Behan. Hosted at Organic Blooms and using our organic flowers, this workshop will run on Saturday 30th July 10am - 1pm. Only 2 places are available as part of this campaign, so grab them while you can!

Payment and personal details are protected