The Purpose

Growing With Purpose

At the Severn Project in Bristol we aim to empower individuals and communities by providing authentic training, education and employment opportunities. It may be ambitious, but we believe in what we do – and as the business grows, so does our impact.
1) Empower individuals
At the Severn Project we have a theory about growing food being good for the soul. Using an innovative model we support people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse, people with poor mental health and those with offending backgrounds to go back to work. By providing long-term structure and support the Severn Project is designed as an alternative to the cycle of treatment and relapse, which can result in a collapse of hope and self-belief. We strongly believe people who come to work with us should decide their own pathway to recovery and be given the opportunity to become satellite growers with the Severn Project's support. 
2) Empower communities
Our urban farm in Whitchurch provides a local food source (reducing carbon emissions) supports the local economy and employs local people. 
3) Generate revenue
In 2010 the Severn Project started from scratch – with a huge vision and only a couple of books on organic growing. Now, we supply to 220 customers in Bristol and throughout the south west (please order through A Davids or La Chasse on a weekly basis.  As our business grows, so does our impact, which is why we invest money we make back into the project, helping to provide more opportunities to support people facing barriers in the workplace. Plans for the future include consolidating our Hub for local growers, a farm shop and café at our Whitchurch site, a Community Shares Issue and a residential programme which bridges the gap between treatment for substance misuse and the workplace.



Still Growing

Since May 2010, and true to our values, the Severn Project has supported over 350 people at no cost to the city, the referring agency or the individual, providing a range of different supporting strategies - therapeutic support, housing, training, education and employment. In 2011 we took the difficult decision to stop providing housing.

If you would like to join the Severn Project or know someone who you feel could benefit, please get in touch:


Meet some of our staff below!




Referral Agencies

Our aim is to make the Severn Project accessible to anybody that would like to work with us. We work closely with organisations to design integrated programmes giving our clients a seamless transition to the different stages of their recovery pathways and we also encourage self-referrals. We ask all our clients to sign a consent form agreeing to information sharing between relevant agencies in relation to their support.

If you would like to refer yourself or somebody your organisation is currently working with, please download and complete the referral Form below. You can email or post these forms to us at and The Severn Project, Oatlands Avenue, Bristol, BS14 0ST


Referral Form

Reasons Why We Do It

Sustainability is the opposite of dependence

We believe in sustainability on every level and that some deeply entrenched societal issues can be tackled in a sustainable way – financially, socially and environmentally.

Holistic approach

We want to bridge the gap between treatment and social reintegration though a process of authentic education, training and employment on the farm.

Urban regeneration

We give around 5.5 acres of previously disused land a new use that benefits local communities, the economy and the wider environment by promoting ecological diversity, a local food source, reducing carbon emissions and supporting the local economy.

Reinvesting profits

As our business grows, so does our impact. We reinvest any surplus back into the project be able to develop even more training, education and employment opportunities.

Joint ownership

We recognise and celebrate our employees and volunteers as stakeholders in our business. Helping with long-term recovery in a sustainable way we encourage our apprentices to start their own businesses and become our satellite growers


Our innovative social model places us at the forefront of the UK’s urban farm movement. We’re constantly developing when it comes to providing education, training and employment opportunities for people who may face significant barriers to the workplace.


We collaborate with grant dependent growing projects helping them to become more sustainable by supporting them to become satellite growers. 

Food Security

As a local urban growing project we’re contributing to food security by supporting other local growers and keeping Bristol’s food economy local.

Local Economy

We accept payment in the Bristol Pound, and support keeping money circulating in the local economy. Approximately every kg is worth £15 pounds to the local economy – this means we have introduced over 300k to Bristol in 2014!


The Severn Project is developing a ‘food hub’ to enable individuals and organisations such as our satellite growers to help grow food, offer access to land and equipment, machinery and storage, market their products, provide a sales and distribution route to market, administrative, business support and collective buying power.


At the Severn Project we have a theory about growing food being good for the soul.  Using an innovative model we support people recovering from drug and alcohol misuse, people with poor mental health and those with offending backgrounds to go back to work.


By working to our innovative model we are making both good local food and long term sustainable job and voluntary opportunities accessible to people facing barriers to the workplace.

Social Franchising

We are working on a social franchise model at the moment. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.