The Trust converted to a charitable company limited by guarantee in July 2010. It is governed by a Memorandum and Articles of Association with Trustee / Directors. Some of our Trustees are relatives of students attending the Centre, while the remainder are independent members who bring a wide range of expertise to the Trust.
The Trust employs a General Manager, Nikki Marley; an Operations and Care Manager, Mike Theoff, and a Horticulture Manager, Peter Buscall, plus 18 instructors.
The activities offered to our students cover a wide range. Many of those activities produce things or create services, which we sell under the labels Grown, Baked and Create. In addition we offer academic development (core skills, such as numeracy and literacy) qualifications such as NVQ, Music and IT and other media skills.
In spite of the significant expansion in the Trust's activities and turnover and the costs associated with being a charitable company, subject to a full annual audit, our administrative and fund-raising costs remain low. The Trustees are unpaid and do not claim expenses.
The Vineyard Garden Centre Ltd and The Vineyard in the Valley Café are both limited companies owned by the Trust, with directors drawn from the roster of Trustees and the General Manager. The Garden Centre and Café are open to the public seven days a week at the Elham Valley Vineyard site, and from Monday to Friday they provide a safe and stimulating developmental environment for our students, under expert care and instruction. Any surplus generated by the two operations is reinvested in the Trust’s activities to support the work with our students.