“It is rarely easy to find supportive yet engaging work opportunities for young people with special needs. Places where the individual is respected for their abilities rather than patronised for their disabilities. The Willows offers a stress-free environment and genuine care which restores self esteem; the project leaders are inspirational. Taking part in community life at the Willows offers something real and rarely made available to those with disabilities – an opportunity to shape the world.”

T.MacKinnon, Principal Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick – Mother of a Service User


“The Willows Project is a fab place, run by fab people! Representatives from ESH (staff and volunteers) have attended a couple of events held by The Willows. We were involved with planting vegetables, shed painting, willow weaving and more. It was a great experience, with an excellent vegetarian lunch provided, as well as tea and homemade cakes – all of which were most welcome after some hard graft! The people who work and volunteer there are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. This sort of project would suit all ages and give them a chance to work outdoors and learn about the processes of organic farming. A great day out and education for all.”

Sara Gorton, Mentor and Recovery Coordinator – ESH Works ‘helping people to help people’


“I have worked with the Willows Project to host two volunteering days for young people from the local area.  On both events volunteers relished the opportunity to take part in practical work and learn about the project; after volunteering the young people felt a great sense of achievement and interest in the project.  The staff create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and are skilled at engaging and motivating volunteers to get involved. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Willows Project and fully support their aim.”

Becky Hones (Assistant Programme Manager) The Challenge Network – connecting and inspiring people to strengthen their communities.


“Attending the Willows Project is a real breath of fresh air, literally and metaphorically. It is really important for me to have as many things as possible to look forward to and visiting the farm is the highlight of my week – the environment is so uplifting and relaxing.  The team running the project have put in an enormous amount of planning, thought and effort. Their enthusiasm is infectious and they are very responsive to the needs and whims of the group members.  Nothing seems too much trouble for them.  When I leave to go home, I feel as though I have been wrapped in a warm blanket and given a great big hug!

– Service User attending Winter ‘Elf Scheme


“I can’t really find the words to describe how being on the farm makes me feel but magical would certainly be one of them. It’s a big thumbs up and a massive thank you – you really are doing a wonderful thing and making a big difference. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have the opportunity you have presented to me. The simple and yet so powerful activities we do are well and truly making me feel connected.”

–       Service User attending Winter ‘Elf Scheme