Chestnut Nursery Services
Although it is primarily a sheltered work project, Chestnut is much more than just a place to work. It aims to provide a happy, friendly community, where people are actively encouraged to care for and support each other.
Chestnut offers a service addressing the needs of the whole person, in addition to therapeutic and varied work rehabilitation. Working closely with Cherry Tree, our sister nursery, we are also able to access the services of a specialist Disability Rights Advisor, provided by the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau. They provide help with filling in forms and accessing benefits, information on entitlements, and advice on a wide range of issues ranging from housing and debt to information on employment.
Chestnut’s many additional services:
- Accompaniment to essential appointments in a crisis
- Referral to specialist services where required
- Support and advice with problems, on site or by telephone
- Advice and help with finding and starting training courses
- Help with moving into new accommodation
- Help for those who may be facing homelessness.
- Help with travel expenses
- Presentations from other services and support networks
- Talks given to local groups and services
Chestnut organises visits and outings but many of the volunteers prefer to stay at the Nursery where things are familiar and they feel safe.
In order that all the volunteers can get together in a social setting we have annual events such as Fish and Chip Day, a summer barbeque, and the ever-popular Christmas party. These events would not be possible to hold without the support of our stalwart Friends and the individuals and companies who sponsor them. Our thanks go to all of them.
As friendships develop and confidence grows, volunteers organize their own trips together, going to the cinema, meeting for coffee or a meal; things they would never have done before giving them the opportunity to realise that they do not need to be isolated by their mental illness – there is a place for them in the world.
Volunteers are offered opportunities to learn new skills and develop new interests through courses, which are held at our Sister nursery, Cherry Tree. Weekly classes are held in Literacy, Numeracy and English with the use of Computers. We are thrilled to be working with Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester to offer RHS Level 1 in Practical Horticulture to some of our volunteers.