History of Ridgeline

The Ridgeline Trust was set up in 2003 by local residents in a disused paddock made available by Reading Borough Council. The land was transformed into the beautiful garden we have today through the hard work of volunteers who cleared and landscaped the site. Volunteers and donations came from church and youth groups, the probation service, local businesses, university students, the Berkshire Trust for Conservation Volunteers and our neighbours, B & M Lakeside care home.

In its early years, the charity was funded mainly by grants and donations, but has gradually transitioned to be more sustainable through charges for services provided to clients. Reading Borough Council has also continued to support us through encouragement from local councillors, as well as by awarding us a 25 year lease on the land, allowing us to invest in an all-weather pavilion opened by the Mayor of Reading in April 2013. This pavilion was funded by money raised from grant-giving bodies and local businesses, and allows the Trust to provide therapy all year round. The pavilion’s heating is also paid for by a grant from the council.

We are extremely grateful for all the help we have received from organisations, individuals and the local community.

Some recent funding and other achievements include:

  • establishing a partnership with local IT company Bottomline Technologies, which raised significant funds towards constructing the Pavilion opened in 2013
  • obtaining funding for a number of small projects to enhance and maintain the capacity of the garden to provide a wide range of activities suited to our clients’ needs
  • establishing a Multicultural Gardening Club
  • establishing the Ridgeline Friends scheme to provide a source of regular pledged donations
  • organising ever more popular and attractive annual Plant Sales and Harvest Fetes attended by 250+ local residents
  • hosting working groups from local businesses and voluntary organisations , and receiving working visits by teenagers on the National Citizens’ Service “The Challenge” youth programme.