What is it?
The ‘Fruitful Woods Collective’ is the next step beyond Fruitful Woods for some participants and will support eight new people per annum to work together within the collective – making their own sustainable produce and generating their own income from what they make. Initially this would be at the scale of ‘therapeutic earnings’, but a key milestone will be to go beyond that scale for some members and achieve earnings that can allow them to come off benefits and become genuinely economically active via Fruitful Woods Collective trading.
Our experience of delivering Fruitful Woods has been that quite a few participants exhibit a talent and flair for the woodland and orchard work being carried out – we and they are discovering latent talent. Alongside this, the cyclical nature of the mental health issues of some participants makes it difficult for them to maintain mainstream employment. The Collective offers a way for them to develop an alternative route to earning, while continuing to gain self-esteem via ongoing skills development. In tandem with this, the work of the Collective fosters a thriving local woodland culture that protects and manages local woodlands and enhances biodiversity.
Innovation in action
New Caledonian Woodlands does not shy away from innovation. We nurture innovative ideas and new ways of doing things. The Fruitful Woods Collective is a great example of this.