Help for employees with mental health problems particularly those on long-term sickness?

Cherry Tree Nursery in Northbourne and Chestnut Nursery in Poole are part of the registered charity Sheltered Work Opportunities Project.  Established in 1990, our aims and objectives are to provide support, community and rehabilitation to adults experiencing mental illness through the use of therapeutic horticulture in a safe and non-pressured environment.


There is no charge for our beneficiaries, who come from all walks of life, nor are there minimum or maximum limits on how long they remain with us. Referrals come from Community Mental Health Teams, GP’s, counsellors and we also accept self-referrals in recognition of how difficult it can be to access help from the oversubscribed mental health services.


We are always keen to extend the help and support we offer beyond the traditional referral pathways.


Many adults struggle to stay in employment when suffering mental illness, often resulting in long-term sickness, and it can be difficult for them to return to employment after an absence.  Loss of self-esteem, confidence and motivation can be major factors in rehabilitation and recovery; it is vital that people retain structure, routine and purpose in their lives during these times.


We would like to reach out to local employers, large or small, and make their HR departments aware of us and what we can offer. Employees on sick leave would benefit enormously from coming to Cherry Tree or Chestnut Nurseries as part of their recovery and eventual return to work. It is important to mention again that we do not charge beneficiaries who attend our project, our income comes from the sale of garden plants and fundraising initiatives. We would hope that employees spending time with us during their recovery, and employers signposting their staff, would naturally promote our cause and we would raise our profile within the community.

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Please feel free to contact me for more information or for to discuss a referral.


Tish Borrowman

Nursery Manager, Cherry Tree Nursery

01202 593537



Cherry Tree Nursery is a project of SWOP (Sheltered Work Opportunities Project) which is a registered charity. The project provides meaningful work in a supportive and pressure-free environment, for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.

The Sheltered Work Opportunities Project is a registered charity (No 900325) and a company limited by guarantee (No 2449757).


Christmas Gift Appeal: Let’s spread a little cheer!

Pivotal Housing (Registered Charity no. 1121914) provides homes and support to vulnerable adults across Dorset, helping them get their lives back on track. They are now seeking small donations such as toiletries; books, games and puzzles; hats, gloves and scarves, and chocolates and sweets, to ensure that all their residents have a gift to open on Christmas Day. Last year, thanks to generous donations from local businesses, over 150 Pivotal residents received a Christmas gift.

Head of Charity Clare Sutton said, “Many of our residents are former homeless and do not have family or friends locally to spend Christmas with. It’s so important to give and receive at this time of year, and we hope some of the Chamber’s members might be able to help out with remaindered stock or a small donation. Every little helps!”

If you or your company have any items you would like to donate, or would like to support the appeal in any other way, please contact Clare on clare.sutton@pivotalhousing.co.uk or visit their Facebook page at PivotalHomesGroup


BH Coastal Lottery
Charities, Corporate Social Responsiblity accreditation scheme

New BH Coastal Lottery

Bournemouth charities and voluntary organisations can now sign up to a new BH Coastal Lottery, which encourages people to support local good causes. Lottery tickets will be available to buy online from 29 January, with the chance to win prizes of up to £25,000 for just £1 per week. A percentage of ticket sales will go towards local good causes.

If you are a Bournemouth voluntary organisation or charity  and are interested in becoming one of our good causes please email bhcoastallottery@bournemouth.gov.uk


Employer Advisory Board

Bournemouth & Poole College are seeking employers to join their Employer Advisory Board for Business and Finance.

They are looking for employers to work with them to advise and shape the curriculum content for their students to ensure that their teaching and training is addressing local and national needs.

They will meet 3 times a year (once per term). The first meeting is 5th December 2018 at the Lansdowne Campus.

If you feel you would like to help them create the work force of the future, please get in touch with Vickie Reynolds on reynoldsv@bpc.ac.uk


Charities, Corporate Social Responsiblity accreditation scheme, Events

New Autumn Exhibition

China through the lens of John Thomson, (1868 -1872)

2 November 2018 – 2 June 2019

The Russell-Cotes autumn exhibition, opening on 2 November, will feature the stunning photographs of China in the 1860s and 1870s taken by legendary photographer, John Thomson (1837 – 1921).  Thomson spent four years photographing the regions of China and produced iconic photographs of people and places.  Such is the range, depth and aesthetic quality of his work that he is regarded as one of the most influential photographers of his generation.  Visitors will see iconic photographs of China reproduced on a large, sometimes life-size, scale accompanied by objects collected by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes on their visit to China a decade later.

Edinburgh-born, John Thomson was a photographer and travel writer who set off for Hong Kong in 1868 and over the next four years, undertook several major journeys to Beijing, Fujian and Guangdong travelling down both the Yangtse and the Min Rivers. He captured a wide variety of subjects including landscapes, people, architecture, domestic and street scenes. As a foreigner, Thomson’s ability to gain access to photograph women was particularly remarkable. Whether photographing the rich and famous or people in the streets going about their everyday business, Thomson’s desire was to present a faithful account of the people he encountered.  This body of work established him as a pioneer of photojournalism.  

Thomson travelled to China only two decades after the invention of photography. Cameras were large and heavy.  He used the wet collodion process where images were exposed on a glass negative in complete darkness, in a portable darkroom tent on location.  He travelled with a large number of cumbersome crates, glass plates and bottles of highly flammable and poisonous chemicals. Given that his arduous journeys took him through difficult terrains, sometimes to regions where the Chinese had never seen a white man before, it is all the moreremarkable that Thomson was able to make photographs of such beauty and sensitivity.  

Thomson’s collection of 700 glass plates travelled back to Britain in 1872 and since 1921 have been housed by the Wellcome Library, London.  The photographs are reproduced from original glass plates on a large, sometimes life-size scale.

At the Russell-Cotes the photographs will be shown alongside items from the Museum’s own collection.  Museum founders, Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes, who were contemporaries of Thomson, visited China in 1885, little more than 10 years after Thomson himself and would therefore have recognised Thomson’s views.  They too were interested by China and its culture and brought back souvenirs and decorative arts as well as collecting further items in Britain.  The collections now include ‘Lotus’ shoes for bound feet, mandarin sceptres, ceramics, hair ornaments, opium pipes and musical instruments.   The exhibition offers an opportunity to see objects from the Russell-Cotes Chinese collections alongside photographs of them in use in their original context.

Exhibition curator, Betty Yao said ‘it is very exciting that John Thomson’s wonderful photographs will be seen in Bournemouth and in the context of the beautiful Russell-CotesArt Gallery and their historic Chinese collection. It will offer an extraordinary insight into 19th century China and into the views, perceptions and interests of British travellers such as Thomson and the Russell-Cotes who were among the first tourists and travellers.

China through the lens of John Thomson runs from Friday 2 November until 2 June 2019. It will be accompanied by a range of talks, demonstrations and family events.

Bournemouth’s Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is situated on the East Cliff with fantastic views of the coastline.  It is open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.