What we do

The Patchworking Garden aims to provide a safe friendly and non-judgemental space for those in the community who for various reasons feel excluded.


The Garden

We are a social horticultural project established in 2014 in a walled garden on the outskirts of Dorking and in the lee of Box Hill. Run entirely by volunteers we offer gardening, crafting and the opportunity to learn new skills in a safe and friendly space for those living with a physical or mental health condition, learning disability or a challenging life situation. Those who would benefit from time away from their caring duties are also welcome. 

We currently support some 90 individuals with a further 50 people (volunteers) working alongside our supported volunteers.

Box Hill
opportunity to gain confidence

How we run


The Garden is open three days a week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, offering a morning and afternoon session each day. Each session has a team of six to eight support volunteers, supporting roughly 12-15 supported volunteers. Everyone attends the same session each week so there is a great opportunity to gain confidence and form friendships.

Supported volunteers may choose to work independently alongside others, or together in a group activity, either in the garden, the greenhouse, our noisy shed with woodworking and sewing machines, or the  quiet workshop for other crafting activities. Each session starts and finishes by gathering together around the table to discuss the session, share ideas and enjoy a cup of  tea, coffee and of course a piece of cake. Cake is an important ingredient in each session!

The Academy


It was decided to extend the opportunities for people at the Garden by establishing the Patchworking Academy. This provides a City and Guilds Level 1 and 2 in Practical Horticulture course for up to 10 students. 
Our three funded specialist tutors work with the students to gain a recognised qualification with the aim of finding employment in a job they really enjoy.
Patchworking Academy

Where to find us


Get in Touch


Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.


Remember to include your phone number in any email

The Garden (formerly Friends Life), Sports Ground, Pixham Lane, Dorking, RH4 1QA

Registered address: 44 Westbank, Dorking RH4 3DH