Christmas Greetings!

From everyone at Bridewell, we wish you and your family all the best this Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year.

We’ve seen extraordinary resilience from gardeners at Bridewell this year as well as from our volunteers and staff. We’ve learnt to celebrate and appreciate the small things, so while we can’t celebrate this season in the normal ways, we are all looking forward to the New Year with hope.

We’ve been struck by the generosity of our supporters and neighbours in 2020 - thank you so much for your messages of support, for donations and gifts, and for joining us at events we were able to hold at the gardens. With your help we’ve been able to keep the gardens open throughout the year, to continue providing support for people who experience serious mental health problems.

Gardeners have told us how vital Bridewell’s support has been this year, providing a connection with people who have shared experiences, and a connection with a community where there’s support without judgement.

Celebrating our Volunteers

Bridewell’s volunteers work every day of the year, taking care of the site over weekends and holidays, and working alongside our gardeners during the week. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers. Thank you so much for everything you do to support Bridewell.

In 2020, 3 of our garden volunteers are celebrating major milestones. Ruth has volunteered for 5 years, Trudy 10 years, and Caroline is celebrating 20 years’ volunteering as part of Bridewell’s garden team! This dedication to Bridewell’s work is a key ingredient in making the gardens a welcoming, secure, and hopeful place. Thank you so much.

Changes in 2020

We’ve seen many changes at Bridewell this year thanks to the support of Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Step Change Fund. A grant through this programme has been used to make major improvements to Bridewell’s site which will save funds in the long term as well as helping the team’s day to day work.

  • refitting our kitchen and replacing the roof

  • replacing the roof and flue to the forge and woodworking areas

  • installing off-grid power with solar panels

  • building a new office building

We can’t wait to show you these changes at one of our open days in 2021.

From everyone at Bridewell - have a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2021!

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