St Mary’s Secret Garden, based in Hackney, East London, provides therapeutic care through horticulture for individuals with learning difficulties and a quiet space for the local community to enjoy nature and develop horticultural skills.
The board of Trustees is looking to increase its number and bring in trustees who have expertise in fund raising, marketing and social media and building projects. An interest in horticulture and how it can benefit the local community would be welcome.
What will you be doing?
As a trustee you will attend a full trustee meeting approximately 12 times a year plus the Annual General Meeting. Additional time spent will depend on individual project involvement. Trustees are encouraged to visit the garden whenever possible to meet the staff and beneficiaries in order to gain a deeper understanding of the services provided by the trained staff and volunteers.
What are we looking for?
Applicants with expertise in any of the following areas will be welcomed:
• Grant funding for small charities in the current environment is proving hard to obtain and more time is being spent by the staff, particularly the full time Director and some of the trustees in writing grant applications with more submissions required to achieve the same level of funding in pre-pandemic times. Applicants who have had experience of funding applications and knowledge of funding sources could make a significant contribution to the financial wellbeing of the charity.
• We are about to commence a rewrite of our website and review how we can increase out social media profile both to engage more actively with the local community and to act as a strand of our fund raising activities.
• We are in the final stage of negotiating a new long term lease with Hackney Borough Council. Once in place we will then embark on a major building project to replace our existing premises with those providing more space, greater flexibility both for our therapeutic activities and for third parties as an additional source of income. We are in the final stages of planning talks with our architects and once approved will make a planning application. This exciting and challenging project will enable us to provide a wider range of services to more people in greater comfort and ensure we meet all health and safety requirements. This project demands skills in design, contract negotiation, capital grant funding and project management. Those interested in this appointment who can contribute in any of these areas will be very welcome.
We look forward to hearing from those with an interest in the garden and it’s contribution to the local community, particularly those with learning difficulties , who could assist in any of the areas mentioned above.
In the first instance please submit a brief summary of your professional background with your ideas on how you might be able to help us.