About Us

HOPE is a charitable project providing training and work experience for people with learning disabilities. We grow organic fruit, vegetables and herbs to sell back to the local community. We offer social, educational and recreational activities for our trainees, who come from Angus and the surrounding areas.

HOPE was set up in 1994 on the grounds of Hospitalfield House, Westway, Arbroath with the kind support of The Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust.

 The garden is run by our team, including our garden manager Richard, garden development worker Henry, and our apprentice gardener Colin, through Community Jobs Scotland.

The Shop in the Garden sells seasonal organic salads, fruit and vegetables, a comprehensive range of bedding and garden plants, bulbs and shrubs. At Christmas, we have handmade holly wreaths and bowls of hyacinths.

Daniel manages the Shop in the Garden and our growing team of volunteers give up their valuable time to help us in the garden and the shop.

There are up to 16 trainees involved with HOPE. They come from all over Angus: Montrose, Arbroath, Forfar, Brechin, Carnoustie and Monifieth.

The trainees enjoy working in a safe environment supported by staff and volunteers.


HOPE awards each trainee his or her own Certificate of Achievement on an annual basis. This certificate is tailored to the individual’s abilities and is presented following their annual review.

Trainees attend the garden one or two mornings per week where they work either individually or in small groups.


Richard started with us in 2001. He is a keen gardener with many years of experience. He deals on a daily basis with trainees, other members of staff and volunteers. Richard is a valued member of staff.


Henry started with us in 2013 working 4 days at the garden. Henry is from a farming background and still likes to keep his hand in on the farm.


Colin started with us in early 2016 on a Community Job Scotland placement and was taken on as an apprentice gardener in Autumn 2016. He attends Dundee and Angus College one day a week and is studying to gain a qualification in horticulture.


Daniel is our most recent team member. He came through the Community Jobs Scotland Programme and started in March 2017 as our Shop Assistant. He manages the Shop in the Garden, with all its different seasonal produce, and welcomes people to HOPE.  Daniel is also learning, from Richard and Henry, about how the garden operates.  This means he is well able to  answer the many questions he is asked by people who visit us.

Volunteers are an invaluable asset to HOPE and give their time freely to help support our work. We welcome people from all walks of life who can help with the many different activities involved in running HOPE. These activities range from becoming a Trustee, a committee member, a garden mentor, a driver, a general handyman, a gardener, an IT support specialist, or an assistant in our Shop in the Garden.

We organise a number of support meetings throughout the year where volunteers have a chance to meet, exchange ideas and suggestions and take part in training opportunities ranging from IT to horticulture and gardening ‘tips’.

Volunteers are warmly invited to attend social events. For more information contact: enquiries@hopeorganicgarden.org.uk



We are fortunate to have a group of volunteers, staff representatives and trainees who organise fundraising and social events. For information and if you would like to be involved please contact: enquiries@hopeorganicgarden.org.uk

We have an active social committee who plan fund raisers such as coffee mornings and bingo evenings.  We are always happy to welcome new members to this committee

We depend on funding from charitable trusts, organisations and many individuals who generously become Friends and supporters of HOPE. Becoming a Friend costs as little as £10 per year – just fill in our online form (below) or ask in the Shop in the Garden next time you’re passing.

  • Individual Friend’s annual membership: £ 20
  • Concessionary annual membership: £10
  • Joint annual membership: £30
  • Corporate annual membership: £100

HOPE would like to thank all the funders and supporters whose contributions ensure that people with learning disabilities continue to benefit from the opportunities providedin the garden at HOPE.

Charitable Trusts and Organisations who support HOPE’s  work include:

  • Artemis
  • McRobert Trust
  • Angus Council
  • Arbroath Guildry
  • Matthew Trust


  • Fairer Scotland Fund
  • The Robertson Trust
  • The Gannochy Trust
  • Lloyds/TSB Foundation
  • Comic Relief
  • Cash4Communities
  • Voluntary Action Fund
  • You & Your Community Millennium Fund
  • Murray Charitable Trust
  • Rank Foundation
  • William Coull Anderson Trust
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • WG Forsyth Fund
  • Aberbrothock Trust
  • Trumark Trust
  • Fraser Trust
  • Henry Smith charity
  • Arbroath Improvement Trust


  • Sandra Stewart


  • Douglas Normand


  • Dr Cedric de Voil, MB, ChB, MBE
  • Councillor Lois Speed
  • Ali Kennedy
  • Claire Walmsley FRSA
  • Helen Fleming

HOPE Garden SCIO is interested to hear from potential new board members.  Please get in touch with HOPE at enquiries@hopegardentrust.org.uk for more information.


With the kind and generous support of the Patrick Allan Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust which provided us with land, water supply and start up equipment, Hope Garden was set up in 1994.Their support has continued as the garden has grown



Provide a payroll service and we receive a weekly bulletin providing information on Third Sector updates, funding and training opportunities. VAA actively recruits volunteers for the HOPE garden and shop.



Syrian refugees who live in Angus now have their own plot in the garden.


Have their own plot.


HOPE has been registered as an organic grower since April 2001 and our produce is certified as organic by SOPA.



In 2007 HOPE’s volunteers received great recognition when HOPE was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Georgiana Osborne.

In 2014 we celebrated our 20-year anniversary with an afternoon garden party at HOPE.



In 2015 our status changed from Hospitalfield Organic Produce Enterprise Trust to HOPE Garden SCIO.

The original HOPE trustees were all involved in planning the ARK house in Arbroath, which opened in 1990. ARK provides housing throughout Scotland for adults with learning disabilities.

Through their involvement with ARK, the Trustees became aware that more than just housing was needed – there was a lack of adequate activity for people with learning disabilities living in Angus. It became apparent that some of these individuals would benefit from some kind of outdoor activity and there were limited places available in the adult resource centres at that time. Some people with learning disabilities had quite a lot of gardening experience from their previous institutional lives – gardening seemed the obvious choice.

One of the founder members of HOPE is Cedric de Voil, a former local GP who was awarded the MBE for his work in the charitable sector. As Chair of HOPE for twenty two years Cedric has overseen the magnificent and ‘organic’ growth of the charity. The Board are delighted that Cedric is still an active Trustee member.

HOPE Garden was set up in the grounds of Hospitalfield House and work began in 1994.

This area itself has an ancient history – the name Hospitalfield harks back to the 13th century when there was a plague and leprosy hospice on the site. It is particularly apt that an organic garden serving the local community is once again in operation here, on land which may have once been used to grow food and medicinal herbs to serve the hospice.

In the beginning, HOPE Garden was totally dependent on volunteers to make the project work. One of the early volunteer gardeners, Mark Barthorpe, helped to progress the garden from an overgrown plot to a working garden. Thanks to a Lottery grant, Mark was the first employee of HOPE. Sadly he died before his hard work came to fruition.

The Garden has been supported over the years by many grants and trusts that have provided funding for salaries and equipment.You can read more about these in the Funders section.

In 2000 we started an organic vegetable box scheme, delivering 20 boxes a week to Arbroath residents. At its peak, the scheme had over 60 households receiving a supply of organic vegetables, fruit and herbs during the growing season. Some were as far afield as, Montrose, Carnoustie and Monifieth.

In 2012 this was replaced by our on-site Shop in the Garden which allows people to come and see the Garden where the produce is grown. One of our most enthusiastic supporters in 2018 comes over regularly from Fife to buy the weekly organic vegetables and fruit.