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Many STH projects are run as social enterprises, generating additional income from which to support charitable activities as well as contributing to the local economy. The produce from STH gardens can be sold directly to local communities through shops and cafes, via farmers markets or other outlets; some will donate surplus produce to local food banks and community kitchens providing additional public benefit from their operations.​

Projects with established social enterprises are often able to offer a pathway for their participants into paid employment – progressing from a therapeutic programme into volunteering and ‘guided employment’.

Founded as a social enterprise in 2004, over the past two decades Growing Well has been attended by thousands of beneficiaries from across Cumbria and North Lancashire, who have undertaken therapeutic horticultural activities on our kitchen gardens.​

Growing Well is now one of the biggest organic vegetable producers in Cumbria, growing tonnes of produce a year from its base near Kendal, its kitchen garden at Tebay Services and a new site in West Cumbria.​

Their Crop Share veg box scheme is more than just produce. “We like to think of it as an extension of our on-farm activity and a significant part of our larger Growing Well family”. They typically supply 35-40 weeks of Crop Shares per year, reflecting the seasonality of the growing year in South Cumbria - these usually include eight items in each, suitable for 2-3 people. Over 95% of the produce is grown on the farm ensuring the produce is at its freshest and has been directly grown by the charity’s beneficiaries. The income from this enterprise help support the charity’s mental health work.​

In addition to Crop Shares, Growing Well also supply produce wholesale to local shops, cafes and restaurants in the Kendal and South Lakes area. This includes the Tebay Services, on the M6. ​

The Growing Well at Tebay Services is a partnership project with services owners Westmorland Family, who have provided a rent-free site, funded the site build and horticultural and other infrastructure, and purchase all the produce grown there for their Farm Shops and Kitchens. Growing Well at Tebay services opened to its first beneficiaries in January 2023 and will eventually help 100 people a year from Eden, Carlisle and North Cumbria recover from mental health difficulties, with our unique approach to recovery through supported activity in the outdoors, within a real-world horticulture enterprise.

Sunnyside is a thriving charity and social enterprise offering training and work experience for over 170 vulnerable people. They train people with learning disabilities to acquire skills in a number of rural activities. These include beekeeping, looking after chickens, growing a wide range of plants and produce, landscaping and garden maintenance.​

“We have a focus on the full ‘plot to plate’ cycle, from sowing seeds and nurturing plants to making produce to sell in the farm shop or market. We do all of this as environmentally friendly as possible.”​

One of the Trust's social enterprises, which generates vital funds for the charity, is the growing of 90,000 flower bedding plants every year for Dacorum Borough Council which are then planted all over the borough. Trainees have commented how proud they feel when they see the flowers they have nurtured, growing in public spaces.​

They also have two farm shops, one at Northchurch and the other at Hemel Food Garden. Both sell Sunnyside produce such as fresh eggs, honey, jam and vegetables and both champion local, organic and fair-trade food.​

In addition, there are 3 cafés which provide trainees the opportunity to learn all the skills required to run a café, such as customer service, handling money, barista, cooking, and stock control.