Fruitful Woods – a mental health and employability project offering flexible and experiential work placements lasting up to 12 months

Organisation : New Caledonian Woodlands Ltd
Grant Amount : £ 18,630

Participants access Fruitful Woods placements by referral & are adults from Lothian experiencing mental health issues including psychotic disorders where symptoms stable.

Placements last up to 1 year, are 1, 2 or 3 days/week; 40 placements/year; group sizes of 12, staffing ratio 6:1Fruitful Woods participants manage local woodlands and orchards, source sustainable materials and produce a range of apple juice, jams, chutneys, furniture, fuel-wood & hand carved wooden items. Products are high in quality, showcase the abilities of the participants & highlight their potential to themselves & to others in the community.

The resulting outcomes are increased physical activity, improved mental well-being, increased self-esteem/self-confidence, improved coping strategies & consequent resilience. These in turn lead to improved employability, increased employment & reduced social isolation.