Learning disability charity seeks funds to build inclusive garden in Wiltshire

By Nick Batten on 30 November, 2023

A Wiltshire-based occupational therapist is seeking the support of local businesses and individuals in the run-up to the festive season, to launch a new nature-focused initiative for individuals with a learning disability.

Lucy Moules is the founder of See Me Be, a community interest organisation (CIO) and registered charity that aims to support adults with a learning disability.

Founded in March 2020, the charity has a vision of helping adults with a learning disability enter the world of paid employment. See Me Be builds relationships with employers to facilitate access and opportunities to paid employment – and is now focused on taking its vision further in 2024 by creating a productive garden that will provide paid employment opportunities. 

The charity has secured land at Grange Farm, West Ashton — an organic beef farm in the heart of Wiltshire — and is looking to create an accessible space for adults with a learning disability where they can grow produce, maintain paid employment, feel connected to nature and be part of their community.

For this vision to become a reality, a minimum of £10,000 needs to be raised by 22nd December 2023. See Me Be is running a campaign via Aviva Community Fund, in partnership with Save Our Wild Isles fund, to finance this purpose-driven project. The Aviva Community Fund is currently matching every single individual donation received up to £250, providing a valuable one-off fundraising opportunity for the local charity to achieve its ambitious goal.

Lucy Moules, Founder of See Me Be CIO, said, “We focus firmly on ability, not disability, at See Me Be. It is our belief that, through meaningful occupation, a clear sense of purpose, and focused activity out in nature, there are significant benefits to a person’s physical and mental health and well-being. Our intention with the creation of this productive garden is to help overcome some of the many barriers that adults with a learning disability can face on the path to paid employment.”

“The land that we have secured is, at present, largely wilderness, but it has incredible potential! There is already an abundance of fruit trees — including apples, crab apples, pear, plum and cherry — which have provided a wonderful harvest this year. If we can secure enough funding, we’ll ensure that the land is accessible to all by installing paths, raised beds and toilet facilities. We will also update the existing polytunnel on the site and purchase a summer house, tables, chairs and tools to get started. Any additional funds generated through this campaign will be used to directly employ Wiltshire adults with a learning disability.” 

The ‘See Me Be Connected: Inclusive Access to Nature’ fundraising campaign is accepting individual and corporate donations until 22nd December 2023. 

To pledge your support, visit: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/p/seemebeconnected