Old Moat community garden centre outlines expansion plans

The Old Moat - GreenhouseOur community garden centre that supports people living with mental health problems in Surrey is set to unveil its expansion plans.

The Old Moat Garden Centre in Epsom has set its sights on expansion in order to make the enterprise self sustaining following a reduction in funding from the NHS.

The Old Moat has operated in Epsom since 2008 and offers people living with mental health problems employment and training opportunities where they play an active role in the management and operation of the successful site.

Christopher Stanton, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship in the area, said:

“We’re inviting the local community and interested business partners to the Old Moat to sell them our vision for a self sustaining community enterprise.

“We have a wonderful site here that has been enjoyed by the community for years, but in order to carry on our work and help make mental health recovery a reality for the people we help, we need investment from the community.”

The Old Moat has outlined plans to expand its commercial enterprises including the onsite café and commercial green house, increase access and car parking and to convert the sites listed barn into a community farm shop. Plans are also in place to use the site as venue for community events.

The expansion will also enable the charity to offer more work placements and employment opportunities to people in the local area who’re living with or recovering from a variety of mental health problems.

photo bedding 13 Old MoatChristopher added: “Studies carried out earlier in the year showed us the commercial viability of The Old Moat and a rapidly-growing partnership of private, public and voluntary sector organisations has already expressed interest in supporting The Old Moat’s transition to self-sustainability.

“We’re also putting together bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund and BIG Lottery Fund to help make our project a reality.

“We have great ambitions for The Old Moat and we’d love to see as many people as possible on Wednesday learn about our plans and support us however they can.”

We’ll have more updates on the Old Moat and how you can support our expansion soon. For more information on the Old Moat and what we provide in Surrey, click here

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