Talbot Village Trust's COVID-19 Support Fund backs Cherry Tree Nursery's wellbeing scheme

3rd Jun 2020

Talbot Village Trust launched the £1 million COVID-19 Support Fund to help any charities and community organisations in the area that are struggling to provide critical support to their communities during this time.

Cherry Tree Nursery, a part of the Sheltered Work Opportunities Project (SWOP), received £30,000 from the Trust to help fund its operations. The SWOP offers support to adults with severe mental illness through the use of therapeutic horticulture. Beneficiaries take part in all aspects of nursery work and range in age from eighteen to over eighty. The well-known benefits of gardening combined with the support and community ethos of the charity, allows benefactors the chance to recover and flourish. 

In normal times, Cherry Tree covers about 80% of its running costs from plant sales, with March and April being the busiest months. However, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the charity. The Government-enforced lockdown has impacted greatly on beneficiaries’ mental wellbeing, increasing anxiety, depression and paranoia. 

The £30,000 grant from the Talbot Village Trust COVID-19 Support Fund will support the efforts of Cherry Tree to both continue to help its beneficiaries and to keep the plant business running well into the future. They have put in place a number of measures to adapt to the current circumstances including a closed Facebook group for beneficiaries and regular video conferencing. The Nursery has also set up one-to-one calls with the beneficiaries who do not use social media and those who are particularly vulnerable. Chestnut Nursery had also launched an online shop to continue to sell their plants to the wider public while they were closed. 

Tish Borrowman, manager of Cherry Tree Nursery, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Talbot Village Trust COVID-19 Support Fund for the support the grant has provided. This is a challenging time for our charity, but thanks to the donation, we will be able to keep operating until we can go back to normal, helping us to continue to support our current and future beneficiaries, even from a distance.”

Sir Christopher Lees, Chair of Trustees, added: “We are very pleased to be able to support charities and community groups through this very difficult time. The work Cherry Tree Nursery does with their beneficiaries is invaluable and we want to ensure they get to keep helping as many people as possible in the future.”

Talbot Village Trust’s COVID-19 Support Fund is now closed but the Trust meets biannually and is accepting applications for funding from both previous and new applicants in the area before the Trustees meet in autumn 2020.