Montage of people - Kirklees. ©Brian Cross - artimedia

Helmsley Walled Garden

Supported by Ryedale Voluntary Action

“The work we do with our front-line organisations is vital to their growth and success. We pride ourselves on being able to offer personal support based on our knowledge of our local environment. We know that what RVA does makes a difference to people.”

Andrea Hobbs, Chief Office, RVA Sculpture of elephant, a fountian in the garden

Helmsley Walled Garden is a beautiful walled garden on the Duncombe Park estate. It was badly dilapidated and in desperate need of restoration. Ryedale Voluntary Action (RVA) played a central role in its revival by providing support with funding applications, organisational development and governance. The Funding Advice Worker at Ryedale Voluntary Action helped the garden by:

  • helping to put together a successful bid for £50,000 to Big Lottery People’s Millions to clear an area of the Garden

  • supporting a successful Heritage Lottery grant bid allowing the Orchid House and the Victorian Vinery to be renovated. These spaces will provide facilities for a cafeĢ and an events space

  • continuing to support the Garden with general development and funding advice as the project grows.

As a result of this support the Garden now provides horticultural therapy to groups and individuals. It employs two full time gardeners and has a team of volunteers, including young people from a local special needs school, adults with special needs and people with mental, physical and terminal illnesses. These volunteers all take part as members of a team, and benefit from the therapeutic effects of gardening. Local primary school children are also involved, working in the Garden and alongside other volunteers.

The Garden is a social enterprise which is open to the public, whilst providing a health and social care support service for local communities.

Ryedale Voluntary Action is the local support and development organisation for Ryedale. It provides a range of services including funding advice, community accounting, organisational development and governance support. The funding advice worker post is funded by NHS North Yorkshire and York, and the Big Lottery.

This case study is part of a series, published in Building links: why support and development organisations matter for Yorkshire and the Humber.

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