Changing Lives in Banbury: The Orchard

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Just around the corner from the centre of town, our Banbury Recovery Project, The Orchard, is changing the lives of people in recovery from mental health issues.

Some members have worked with a Sound Engineer from Banbury College to write 4 songs – a CD in the making perhaps?

This warm, welcoming centre offers members a safe place to explore their creative side, through woodwork and a wide range of arts and crafts. And while all this creativity is going on, people are making vital steps forwards in their mental health recovery.

Tooleys Boatyard gave members the opportunity to use their forge


The Co-op team painting the Quiet Room at The Orchard earlier in the year






In May, staff held a craft-a-thon which raised an incredible £1,300 for Restore

One of The Orchard’s members describes it like this:

“Restore has its own unique way to help people with mental health issues on their own recovery journey.  Most of the time you don’t even notice your recovery happening.  Spending time in a safe environment and having a structured day is the key opening the door to a new future.

Restore members, staff and volunteers from The local Co-op heading out on a sponsored walk for World Mental Health Day, 2019

The Orchard is unrivalled for the way it works with the local   community in Banbury, to partner in supporting people to rebuild their health and their lives. They regularly have a presence at local events and members get really involved in every way they can, bringing their skills and talents to the  table.

Here’s how being at The Orchard helped turn things around for Jacqui, Recovery Coordinator of The Orchard:

“In early 2010, I had a major breakdown, because I had been bullied in my job. I did not realise how ill I had become. I became unemployed and unemployable with a mortgage. I started to lose all hope.

During this time, I was introduced to an employment coach at Restore in Banbury, but I was too ill to contemplate working at this point. I was advised that, perhaps after a few months with Restore, I could rebuild my confidence again. I started on my recovery journey. Even then, suicide was still very high on my to-do list, but with the intervention, help and support of Restore, I got through and started to find my feet. I was trying new things and meeting new people. I was gaining confidence and friends. I was learning new skills and learning how to help myself with coping mechanisms and recovery tools to keep myself safe.

Eventually, I became a volunteer at The Orchard, and it was simply amazing to be able to help and support others with their own recovery journeys.”

The Orchard Staff & members having fun at the People’s Park 100th anniversary celebrations


We were invited to HANfest to hold a stall after they contacted us hoping to help raise money for the charity





To refer yourself to our Projects, or to find out more, e-mail:
Or phone us on: 01865 455823