Waste Not Want Not is a horticultural based social enterprise and community interest company which uses horticulture as a therapeutic tool to assist in helping homeless people, ex addicts, ex-offenders, socially excluded, people with mental health issues and depression and those recovering from a life crisis. Our aim is to create a friendly and supportive environment for positive activity where participants, known as volunteers, can make new and supportive friendships and feel included in their local community.
Waste Not Want Not seeks and gains donations from organisations including B&Q, Country Gardens, Europlants, Ayletts, A1 Nurseries and members of the public – they give us their unwanted plants which would otherwise end up in landfill, we nurture them and sell them at our nursery. We are also given unwanted used items including fencing panels, mesh wire and other materials which we recycle and put to good use.
Waste Not Want Not was established in June 2008. Originally people were referred from the Haven Hostel for the Homeless and the Living Room, a centre for people with addictive behaviours. Over the years our referring organisations have grown and now include North Herts College, YMCA, Ingeus, Mid Point, Westminster Drug project, Bedford Prison plus numerous self-referrals from the local community. All the referring agencies see our operation as a vital link and end support mechanism in the reintegration of those who have been isolated or excluded from society. Over the last 2 years we have also worked with and provided opportunity to the Integrated Offender Management Project, building sheds and planters for our site and reindeers and sledges to sell at Christmas markets.
In addition, we also encourage and welcome people from the local community who have an interest, enthusiasm and knowledge in horticulture to get involved as volunteers to support our beneficiaries.
The whole ethos behind Waste Not Want Not is inclusivity and through the delivery of our projects and initiatives, we reach out and touch those with a real need.