|It is not easy for charities to survive these days. During the last 20 years we have seen very many mental health projects and therapeutic horticulture projects being forced to close due to cuts in funding or support. As a now well-established project, many people come to us for advice on how to survive, and we see helping other projects to set up and keep going as an essential part of our role.|
| We believe we are still here because we are both commercial and independent. Half of our running costs are covered by our plant sales, which gains us respect for trying to be as self-sufficient as we can, and gives us a good foundation to work from. We supply customers with high quality, well looked after plants (not in yoghurt pots!).
Because we are independent, we can offer what our volunteers need, and do not have to change in response to every new government policy. If we identify a need, it is up to us to be creative in devising a way to fund it. This gives us more flexibility, great motivation and, when successful, gives everyone an enormous sense of achievement.
There are many types of horticultural project; some are mainly for training, others primarily offer therapy. Chestnut Nursery has remained a meaningful, realistic work project. This means that every volunteer knows that the work they do helps the project to survive and grow, and their self-esteem can grow with it. We are in charge of our own destiny, and we have made a commitment to survive.