Great news!! ACE has found an investor who is working on becoming auction ready to purchase the garden centre!
The team at ACE have been working tirelessly, day and night to try and make this project a reality. This has come with lots of ups and downs but one thing we have learnt along the way is the sheer scale of this project, and the timescale we had to pull it off were against us from the beginning! But never once did we let that stop our drive and enthusiasm for helping people. Each and every donation, all the wonderful comments, emails, telephone calls we have received has pushed us on, always believing we could do it.
We are now a step closer, but this comes with some changes.
An opportunity has presented itself to us where we can lease the garden centre off an investor who is currently working on becoming auction ready. The concept will not change, we will still trade as a garden centre, using this as a platform to train and support people back into employment whilst ploughing the profits back into the community.
This could secure us making this vision a reality.
We are lowering the GoFundMe target to reflect this! We are now seeking the remaining costs of getting the garden centre and training and support platform up and running.
What if we you do not win at Auction or the investor cannot bid, I hear you ask?
This is the closest we have come to being able to secure the building to be able to work our Trade, Train and Support model from. We are continuing to believe that we CAN achieve this, however, if we cannot secure this building, we will be seeking a new space to run this model from. Wherever we run this project from, we envisage it will be a true community enterprise. The space will be available to other voluntary, community and social enterprises, to use as a hub to support more people of Norfolk whilst having a trading element to provide opportunities for work and generate income to support community projects.
What other funds are you working on securing?
ACE have applied for a few grants and are working with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership on securing some additional funding. We have been working hard with our partnerships, new and existing to ensure we have funding moving forward. And the exposure from this campaign has meant we have local independent businesses and people approaching us to partner and collaborate.
You are probably thinking, £800,000?!?! That's way too much to raise via GoFundMe.
Don't worry, we are also seeking financial investment from a wide range of sources including commercial loans, grants, investors as well as looking for the wider public’s support through this platform. We will keep you updated on progress as we go.
Why we are unique
We will be able to trade it as a garden centre, generating a revenue stream to cover the costs, whilst using it as a platform to train and support the people of Norfolk. This is needed now more than ever as we ease ourselves through the pandemic but will also be sustainable for years to come. We want to transform the garden centre into a beautiful, buzzing pillar of the community, we plan on trading the café and stock the shop with good quality, local produce at reasonable prices.
The training platform will enable the people of Norfolk to try out their newly learnt skills in a safe, real life environment. A place where they can learn vital employability skills, grow in confidence, and take their journey into employment.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We aim to support people with their wellbeing and mental health and hope to have a secret garden where people can come and take some time out, work with our staff in a relaxed environment where they can choose to tender to plants, nurturing them on their journey to be sold on in the shop, or relax within the beauty whilst opening up with one of our trained staff team.
Additional Information/About us
ACE currently operates out of a base in Rackheath, where we run education, training and support for people aged 7 and up. Our vision is to help people individually whilst also recognising that collectively we can change society for the better.
People that come to ACE may be with us to up skill, learn new skills, build self-esteem and confidence, become job ready. We work with individuals to identify their journey to get them from where they are, to a place of self-sufficiency within the community. We support them along this journey to achieve their end goal.
By having Aylsham garden centre will give them opportunities to practice skills, gain on the job experience, have up to date work experience to be on their CV, all whilst providing the community with a garden centre, farm shop and café stocked with local produce and products.
- Danielle Lindoff
- Yvonne Ross
- Katie Marden
- Sharon Coggins
Fundraising team: Action Community Enterprises CIC (3)
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