Aberdeenshire garden stars in new film

The Seed Box on the Ballogie Estate in Aboyne was set up by keen gardener Belinda Rowlands helped by funding from Firstport.
The Seed Box on the Ballogie Estate in Aboyne was set up by keen gardener Belinda Rowlands helped by funding from Firstport.

Aberdeenshire business The Seed Box is starring in a new film to mark the 10th anniversary of Firstport, the social enterprise agency who helped the service get off the ground.

The Seed Box on the Ballogie Estate in Aboyne was set up by keen gardener Belinda Rowlands helped by funding from Firstport.

The organisation provides a day service for adults and teens with additional support needs, who are not able to work in mainstream employment. The aim is to improve the emotional and physical health of the service users through horticultural training and outdoor activities.

At The Seed Box, service users are able to undertake meaningful work related activities that help to encourage independence, social rehabilitation as well as life skill training. Such support allows service users to move on to employment, either supported, sheltered or mainstream. The produce grown in the gardens includes fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Firstport is marking its 10th anniversary by publishing a film showcasing five social enterprises – including The Seed Box – and urging people to consider starting a business that could help their local communities.

Belinda said: “I have a huge sense of achievement for having achieved a business that has a social purpose as well as helping so many other people as well. I do think it’s a good time to start a social enterprise – the support’s there, the funding’s there.”

The Seed Box is one of over 800 businesses with a social purpose supported by Firstport, the development agency set up in 2007 to support social enterprise start-ups in Scotland.

The development agency has also published a report Learning to Start Something Good which demonstrates that social enterprise is a key factor in growing an inclusive Scottish economy.