We need to raise £30-40k for a 5-year-old 16-seater minibus and we need your help!
Our minibus has transported hundreds of volunteers and project participants from Bristol, Kingswood, Yate and Bradley Stoke to Tortworth. Being inclusive by offering free transport is vital to us as it removes the barrier of car access or reliable access transport, and allows anyone who needs to spend time amongst our trees to improve their mental health and wellbeing to do so.
After spending a small fortune trying to keep it on the road, we have realised that the time has come to retire the transit and find a more reliable minibus.
We’re running a fundraising raffle, with some fabulous prizes on offer, until 3rd January 2024!
Thank you to all the incredible people and organisations who have donated!
- One night bed & breakfast stay for two in a Deluxe Junior Suite at De Vere Tortworth Court (1 available)
- An exclusive photoshoot with Tuesdays Child Photography (1 available)
- One day Barefoot Yoga retreat in June 2024 (1 available)
- A 45-minute aerial coaching session with Whispering Woods’ Nina Bambrey at the Albany Centre, Bristol (1 available)
- One night exclusive camping at Tortworth Arboretum (1 available)
- A weekday firepit evening at Tortworth for you and up to 14 friends (5 available)
- Raclette Raclette lunch for two at Stroud Farmers Market (1 available)
- A handcrafted bowl from a wind-fallen Tortworth tree by J.R. Woodturning (3 available)
- A handcrafted plywood shoe rack from Mint Campers (3 available)
- A handcrafted wooden solitaire game from The Green Woodpecker (3 available)
- A pair of decorative ceramic mushroom to display outdoors or indoors (1 available)
- A beautiful acrylic on canvas painting by Zariq Batik Art (2 available)
- A Microscooter (1 available)
- A super snuggly Tortworth Forest Centre hoodie (5 available)
- A Tortworth Forest Centre CIC t-shirt (5 available)
- A botanic resin hanging snowflake by Nature’s Inspiration (1 available)
Some of the prizes on offer…
Why do we need a minibus?
We believe nature and the countryside should be accessible to everyone, but sadly it’s not for many reasons including lack of access to a car or other transport due to low income and increasingly poor public transport.
If we didn’t have a minibus, 9 out of 13 of our current Hawthorn Project participants wouldn’t be able to get to Tortworth for their weekly group which supports their mental health and wellbeing:
“Coming here gets me out of Bristol and allows me to see different things every week. I find it freeing. You’re out of Bristol and it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The Hawthorn Project has had a massive positive impact on my mental health. It’s one of the best days of my week and without the minibus I wouldn’t be able to come.” Gemma H, a Hawthorn Project Participant
“I wouldn’t be able to come to Tortworth without the minibus. I like coming here because I feel safe, I know who will be here and that I won’t bump into strangers or people I don’t want to see. It’s good that we have the same driver every week, we know Gary and we can trust his driving. My local bus service has been cut in the past year, limiting my ability to visit places, that has made the Tortworth bus even more important for my week.” Chin, a Hawthorn Project Participant
“I would not be able to come without the minibus. It’s nice to get out of Bristol, makes you feel like you’re going away for a bit and there is a nice atmosphere on the minibus. It’s so beautiful out here, you can’t match this in my local park and we have goats too.” Gemma L, a Hawthorn Project participant
“I would be lost without the minibus, I couldn’t come. I’ve been coming here for 10 years and this project changed my life. I look forward to getting on that bus every Wednesday.”
“I wouldn’t be able to come without the minibus, I really struggle to get on public transport when I’m feeling unwell.”
“I wouldn’t be able to come without the minibus. It’s tree heaven, I don’t want to leave, it’s amazing, it’s home.”
“It’s very useful and participants wouldn’t otherwise be able to get there. Very beneficial for inner city patients to access green space outside the city and I have been aware of very few projects who offer this in the past, so it’s a really excellent service.” A social prescriber who refers participants to our groups.