Opening Hours

Mon- Fri: 8 - 4

Saturdays: 10 - 4pm March to November
10 - 3pm November to Christmas

Sundays: 10-3pm March to September

Follow Us On Facebook

Follow Us On Facebook


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

About the charity

942471_699836816708528_1577281395_nChestnut Nursery is the second project of the registered charity the Sheltered Work Opportunities Project (SWOP)Chestnut Nursery is a project of SWOP (Sheltered Work Opportunities Project) which is a registered charity. Based in the centre of Poole, it provides voluntary work for adults with severe and enduring mental illness. The project aims to improve mental well being through the healing nature of horticulture.

Research shows that, in any one year 25% of the population experience a mental health problem. Many of these people want and need to fill their time constructively, but feel unable to cope with the stresses and pressures of open employment.  Sheltered work in a realistic but pressure free environment is a good way to promote recovery by boosting self-esteem and confidence, providing companionship and mutual support, and helps to dispel boredom and loneliness, and restore dignity. Chestnut Nursery currently provides over 60 work placements and aims to give the opportunity to learn or relearn basic work skills. 

Volunteers work in all aspects of the nursery, this includes: seed sowing, potting plants, serving customers in the shop, carpentry and construction work, as well as office and computer work.It is very important for us to establish links and gain support within the local community.We hope that by forging new relationships within the community and creating more awareness regarding mental health issues will help in some way to dispel the stigma attached to mental illness. We also hope to encourage new customers and supporters and to raise the profile of the nursery.

“The work is beneficial and provides a sense of personal achievement”

482588_666247350067475_2128950054_nThe Sheltered Work Opportunities Project is a registered charity (No 900325) and a company limited by guarantee (No 2449757). The charity currently has two projects, Chestnut Nursery in Poole, established in 2001 and Cherry Tree Nursery in Bournemouth, established in 1990. The charity was set up to:

  • address an identified need for meaningful occupation in a supportive and pressure-free environment, for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.
  • endeavour to reduce stigma and discrimination by increasing public awareness of mental illness.

Through the use of therapeutic horticulture, the charity aims to restore mental well-being, and give purpose to people’s lives.A board of Trustees meet quarterly, and submit annual returns to the Charity Commission and Companies House.The day-to-day running of the nursery is overseen by a Management Committee of nursery volunteers and a staff representative.

The nursery holds monthly management meetings where volunteers are encouraged to share ideas and comment on how we can run the nursery more effectively.

Every year the nursery holds an open day. The open day is an opportunity to show supporters of the nursery how the project is moving forward and demonstrate the work which takes place on the nursery.  The mayoress is attending and will be given a behind the scenes tour of the site as well as having the chance to hear first hand from the volunteers the role the charity plays in their lives.



Chestnut Nursery,
75 Kingland Road,
BH15 1TN

Tel: 01202-685999
Registered Charity No 900325

Trustees of SWOP

Martin Stewart, Chair/Secretary
Mrs Sheila Carson
Ignatius Harling, BA (Hons)
Sophie Manners, RGN, RMN
Mrs June Perryman
Vic Williams
James Robinson, FCA, FCCA

Treasurer: Roy Edgley, FCA

Secretary: Mrs Andrea Keighley


Patrons of SWOP

Bill Bailey

  • The Baroness Maddock
  • Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers CVO, DL