The Olive Tree Café supports people recovering from mental illness or at risk of suffering mental illness by providing them with positive, work-related opportunities in a café open to the public in order to take them a step nearer to the world of work.

One of their Trustees, Gillian Barber explains how the grants and advice they have received from us has helped with the growth and development of their organisation. 

“The support Olive Tree Café has received from the Foundation over the years has enabled us to develop into the successful charity we are now. The interest and understanding Foundation staff have shown in what we aim to achieve and in the continuing development of our charity have been a real reassurance. This also applies to our other project - TWIGS (Therapeutic Work Gardening Swindon) which has been in existence for 21 years, offering opportunities for people experiencing mental health problems to regain confidence and self-esteem through gardening and other activities.

“Smaller, starter grants from the Foundation have helped us along the way, giving us the opportunity to try new ways of approaching our aims. Over the years this has resulted in us being able to provide evidence of achievement which has enabled us to successfully apply to other funders.

“Our highly-valued training course in cookery skills at the Café, which is now accredited by the Open College Network, was developed originally with funding from the Foundation. It is now an invaluable part of the Café and has enabled many of our staff and volunteers to learn, grow, blossom and move forward with their lives.

"With another grant from the Foundation, we have developed a weekly gardening session at TWIGS to benefit people with dementia and their carers. With lessons learned and staff trained, we are now planning to offer these sessions two days a week and have secured funding for it from another source.

“The trustees have recently been planning changes to ensure the strength of the stability of the charity into the future and Wiltshire Community Foundation has been part of some of these discussions. They didn’t just talk to us about funding but also about the governance of our organisation as well as branding and marketing. We greatly value the advice and information we receive from the helpful and knowledgeable staff of the Foundation.”

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