We are delighted to confirm that planning permission for our new shop and polytunnels has now been approved and we are busy putting our fundraising plans in place for the year ahead, perfectly timed to combine with our 15th birthday celebrations.
Located in a conservation area, our new retail unit has been sympathetically designed by Footprint Architects in Bournemouth to complement our local surroundings and reflect the charity’s work and history. The 200sqm retail unit will largely be constructed from natural materials consisting of stone gabion walls and sweet chestnut cladding in reference to the nursery and our charitable work, with the addition of green and purple polycarbonate panels to acknowledge the condition of the site prior to our establishment, overgrown with buddleia. With new facilities, we will have the opportunity to stock a wider variety of products all year-round, such as horticultural sundries, gifts, houseplants, wildlife-friendly items and a coastal product line to complement our existing range of outdoor plants.
There will be plenty of opportunities for our Volunteers to learn new retail skills from stocking and merchandising, to customer service and till work. We can also look forward to inviting new Volunteers to the nursery who would be keen to gain work experience indoors, extending our reach to more adults in need of our support. New polytunnels to replace our ageing greenhouses will create a comfortable working space for our Volunteers where they can continue to learn their horticultural skills, growing and caring for our plants.
It is our continued aim to make Chestnut Nursery more self-sustaining and less reliant on grant-making organisations, ensuring that we can provide essential continued support in the local community for the long-term.
So, it’s time to get started on our fundraising to ensure we can start our project by October 2016. Our application has now been submitted to the Reaching Communities BIG Lottery Fund which, if successful, will cover the costs of our polytunnels but our target for the retail unit is £352,000! We are lucky to have the support of two local trusts to get us started but we would welcome your help along the way …
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- Come along to our special events throughout the year. Dates for the diary are:
9th July 2016: Chestnut Nursery 15th Birthday Open Day and Fundraising Event. We’ll be celebrating in style with plenty of activities, workshops, talks, tours, cream tea and live music. We’ll keep you posted on all the events on the day and let you know how can join in the fun closer to the time!
19th March and 3rd September 2016 : Plant Bonanza Days with great offers on our top quality plants, teas/coffees and cakes and free parking.
- Grand Prize Draw 2016 : We are in the process of gathering top-notch prizes for our prize draw which will be held after our Open Day. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who might be able to provide us with a special gift or experience to put into the draw, maybe a weekend away, trips to special events, an overnight stay in a hotel, golfing or spa experience. Donations will be acknowledged through social media, newsletters, promotional literature and PR leading up to the main event and go along way to raise funds for the new build.
- Would you be able to nominate us as your charity for a fundraising event that you are completing during 2016? Bike rides, sponsored walks, marathons and fun runs, cake bakes … whatever you fancy, all contributions would be hugely appreciated.
- Are you or do you know a local craftsperson or horticulturalist who might be able to spare an hour or two of their time to provide a demonstration or hold a workshop during our open day? We’re keen to focus on outdoor crafts and garden related themes … perhaps hurdle-making, willow-weaving, building bird boxes, propagation etc? We would welcome any suggestions of suitable persons or donations of skills and time.
- If you wish to donate directly to our project, you can do so via the button on our homepage of the website or via post.
Thanks for reading! I’m sure you’ll agree we have exciting times ahead at Chestnut Nursery, if you are able to support us in any way, we look forward to hearing from you. For more information, please call us on 01202 685999 or e-mail email@example.com.