Friends of Camden Garden Centre Charitable Trust

Camden Garden Centre’s achievement in helping Trainees back into work relies on the support of its customers. Commercial success provides the funds to the charity owners – Camden Garden Centre Charitable Trust – to enable them to cover the costs of the Training Scheme. Over the first 25 years the costs of the Training Scheme were entirely financed by the success of the business.

Over the following five years the business was affected like any other garden centre trying to survive the recession – except that unlike other businesses we also have high extra costs of running our special Training Scheme these include :

the costs of a Training Manager –a very unusual post for a relatively small business such as ours but essential to deliver high quality training and pastoral care for often vulnerable Trainees. We will help them for example with housing problems, maybe addiction counselling, often with debt control

internal and external training costs. The Garden Centre spends more than four times the amount that other garden centres spend on training – and not just in horticulture but in other areas too so that it can expand employment possibilities;

and the employment costs of the Trainees themselves –high extra costs at a time when many businesses are reducing staff to cope with the downturn .

Overall, the cost of running the training scheme is over £80 k a year

Camden Garden Centre has never been dependent on external funding. However, to remain competitive during difficult economic times, the company has occasionally had to cut trainee numbers. Whilst a mainstream employer might see training as a cost, Camden Garden Centre develops its trainees (and staff) as a long term investment for the individual and the community. In 2007, to maintain higher trainee numbers than the company could then afford, CGC applied for a grant for the first time. The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation generously donated a grant for five years contributing to the costs of employing the Head of Social Enterprise, Development and Training who manages the Training Scheme and the outreach work in CGC. This source of funding has come to an end, but the economic situation has not

In difficult trading times, and with escalating costs, the Garden Centre profits to the Trust are not enough to completely fund the Training Scheme and help as many Trainees as we would like – especially important in these straitened times when unemployment is so high. Finding a job is incredibly difficult for anyone but absolutely impossible for our client group who face life without any possibility of employment and to change their lives around unless they get support like ours.

The Trust has recently changed its approach from solely depending on profits from the Garden Centre and for the first time is seeking donations from individuals and companies and has launched Friends of Camden Garden Centre Charitable Trust.

The employment, pastoral care and training costs for each trainee is around £18,500 a year. Your help in making personal or corporate donations will directly help us to take on more trainees.

There are three types of Friend of the Trust.

Firstly, Individual for which we suggest a gift aided donation of £10 a month or more.

Secondly, Corporate which is from £500 annually

And thirdly, Sponsor of a specific individual Trainee’s annual costs of £18,500

All Friends will receive regular updates about Camden Garden Centre, our Training Scheme and work in the community and will be invited to exclusive Friends only events, garden visits, with an expert guide, to for example, Kew Gardens and will also receive extra special offers. Both Corporate Friends and Sponsors will receive multiple invitations to our exclusive Friends only events and visits. Sponsors will be updated in detail on their individual Trainee’s progress and will be invited to our annual awards ceremony.

Become a Friend by simply completing the Joining Form.
Click here to become a Friend of Camden Garden Centre Charitable Trust.