Homelessness charity to open tree nursery near St Austell

Local charity Emmaus Cornwall is opening a tree nursery near St Austell in a bid to generate income to support people out of homelessness, provide volunteer opportunities and meet the need for locally grown trees.

The tree nursery, which is at Trewoon, overlooking Carlyon Bay, will grow native broadleaf trees from seed local to Cornwall. Through volunteering sessions, the charity aims to create a nature-based hub for people in St Austell and its outlying parishes.

The project will be a new social enterprise for the charity, with income generated from the sale of trees providing funds to help open and maintain an Emmaus community in Cornwall.

There are already 30 established Emmaus communities across the UK providing a home, work, and training to support people out of homelessness and back into employment. Emmaus Cornwall’s community will be the first of its kind in the Duchy. 

Volunteering sessions at the tree nursery will be open to people in the wider community, advertised on the charity’s Facebook page and bookable by telephone or email. 

The charity believes that people will reap many benefits from volunteering at its tree nursery, as Sue Trewella, Chair of Trustees at Emmaus Cornwall, explains:

“We’re delighted to be starting this nursery, which will be our first social enterprise and will provide wonderful volunteering opportunities for people in Cornwall. Volunteers will have the chance to learn new skills, submerge themselves in nature and the healing properties it holds and to contribute to the global fight against climate change. This is all while helping to generate funds to support people who are or have been homeless.”

Emmaus Cornwall will also work alongside local organisations to offer volunteering sessions to vulnerable and socially-excluded groups. The charity believes meaningful work for people within these groups can provide a sense of purpose, connection with others and the opportunity to build skills, confidence and self-esteem.

The charity will be opening its tree nursery on the three-acre site in the autumn. It has already invested in deer fencing and will be erecting a polytunnel in the near future. It is currently seeking the help of anyone who can donate old baths for stratifying seeds, a standalone static or mobile unit that can be used as a welfare hut, or garden tractors, mowers and tools. If you can help with anything on the charity’s list, contact emmauscornwall@gmail.com

To register your interest in volunteering at Emmaus Cornwall’s tree nursery when it opens, complete an online form at www.emmaus.org.uk/cornwall/tree-nursery

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