Camden Garden centre wins local charity enterpise of the year

Camden Garden Centre in north London won the "Charity/Social Enterprise of the Year" award at the inaugural Camden and Islington Business Awards.

Martha Benedek accepts charity enterprise award for Camden Garden Centre - image: Camden Garden Centre
Martha Benedek accepts charity enterprise award for Camden Garden Centre - image: Camden Garden Centre

The ceremony took place at the Emirates Stadium on 27 October 2011.

Camden Garden Centre is an early model of a social enterprise.

Since 1983 the company has helped over 250 individuals to gain vocational qualifications and get into work, including young people who left school without qualifications, ex-offenders and those at risk of offending, people living with mental health problems, homeless people and people recovering from substance misuse.

An Approved NVQ Assessment Centre in its own right, over 100 nationally accredited qualifications have been awarded to trainees. Former trainees have gone on to become self-employed as landscape gardeners, another manages a Japanese knotweed control programme in Scotland and another works as a botanist at Kew Gardens.

The business is largely self-financing, supporting it’s training programme from its trading activity. Prior to the business being established a parent charity was formed: the Southern Task Educational Trust (STET). The charity owns the garden centre and any surplus generated from the business is donated back to the charity.

The work that the centre does employing ex-offenders has been recognised by successive governments, the company being on the leadership team of the Employers’ Forum to Reduce Re-Offending Through Employment.


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