Chippenham Collective

Providing social gardening, conservation and citizen science opportunities in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Supporting those who have challenges in life.





Charity Registration Number 1203080





Pop a slug in the post to help science!

But sign up to become a slug scout first. We have!

Supported by Wiltshire Community Foundation


See all our friends and supporters here.



Find us (and other local groups) in the Chippenham Activity Finder.

Who we are here for

Anyone who wants to connect with nature and neighbours

But in particular anyone who feels isolated on account of mental health issues, physical health conditions or neurodiversity (like autism or ADHD), 

However, you don't have to have a 'condition' to become a member of Chippenham Collective.

See us in the local news!




For a number of reasons, mainly because we are starting off on 'borrowed' land with just a few volunteers, some people will not be able to access some or all of our work sessions.

Many apologies for this and we will work to become more inclusive but, initially, we cannot support people with the following needs during our work sessions:

Those aged under 18 years

Those with significant mobility issues

Those who can't pee discreetly behind a bush (Sundays and Thursdays) or cope with a tiny toilet (Mondays)

Those who cannot comply with our code of conduct

Those with personal care needs who are not accompanied by someone to support them.

In addition, please note that most of our participants will be under 40 (volunteers can be any age). Whilst there is no ban on participants over 40 they will need to be 'young at heart' to get the most out of Chippenham Collective.

Please contact us to discuss your needs.


Our co-founders

Our co-founders have a range of quaifications and experience to draw on. 

George Holliday


George has experience in gardening and conservation. In addition, he has advanced wildlife identification and biological recording skills with qualifications in zoology and entomology (insects). George is autistic and is happy to talk about its positive and negative impacts on everyday life.

Jess Purton


Jess is a DJ and has worked as a carer. She is a keen gardener and allotment holder. Jess lives with epilepsy.

Dave Purton


Dave is a former deputy head teacher and educational consultant with practical woodworking skills and a long-term interest in gardening.

Emily Weston

Co-founder and chair of trustees

Emily is a qualified social worker and, more recently, worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an inspection manager.

Emily is an approved Mental Health First Aid instructor with Nuco Training.


What we do


We offer relaxed and sociable gardening sessions.


We provide opportunities for getting involved in local conservation work.

Citizen science

Join us in identifying and recording local wildlife and plants.

What else we do

Social activities

Some of our members asked if we could support them to participate in social activities in and around town. See our events page for details of what is coming up. We are always open to more (cheap) suggestions.

Our trustees

Our trustees have some fantastic skills to get us started as a charity.

Alison Attfield

Trustee with special responsibility for safeguarding

Alison works as a lecturer in further education and previously had a career in leisure services. She is also an Ofsted inspector.

Jayesh Bhardwa

Trustee with special responsibility for finance and accounting

Jayesh has worked in finance and accounting, IT and IT service integration and various management roles with blue chip companies. He has also been a carer.

Nick Burn

Trustee with special responsibility for consevation and sustainability

Nick is a qualified agriculturalist and currently works for an international aid agency in the areas of water and sanitation.

Emily Weston

Chair of trustees and co-founder

Emily is a qualified social worker and, more recently, worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an inspection manager.


Emily is an approved Mental Health First Aid instructor with Nuco Training.

Could this be you?


Any member of Chippenham Collective who is interested in how a charity works is welcome to become an associate trustee. This is an informal voluntary role with no extra voting rights, but it is great preparation for anyone who is thinking about becoming a charity trustee in future.

Spotlight on our volunteers

Meet some of the volunteers who support us:

Nathan Huntley

Social Media Manager

Nathan will be running our social media accounts. Nathan moved to Chippenham recently and joined Chippenham Collective to meet new people.



Nathan is in training for the Bob Cook games.


Official Photographer

Alex is going to be supporting Nathan by taking lots of photos of our activities. She is under instruction to make us all look like catwalk models!


Alex's favourite thing is caring for animals.

Our Sites

Here are some pictures from our sites BEFORE we started work.

Working at being autism-friendly

We believe an autism-friendly approach helps everyone. Who doesn't benefit from clear, unambiguous communication?

We aim to be responsive to everyone's needs and focusing on how we communicate and adapting the environments we work in will help more than just our autistic members.

We won't always get it right, but our intentions are good and we will do our best not to be defensive when you tell us we have got it wrong.

According to an Autism Alliance survey in 2023:

  • 77% of autistic adults reach crisis point before care and support is provided. 
  • 48% of autistic adults receiving social care say it does not meet their needs. 
  • 44% of autistic adults wait more than 2 years for care and support to be provided. 
  • 58% of autistic adults receive poor support during the process of trying to get social care. 
  • 56% of autistic adults don’t try to get care and support because they don’t think they’ll get it.

Chippenham Collective does not claim to provide the answer to these issues, but we can be a calm place for anyone needing a break from 'battling the system'.


Working at being LGBTQ+ inclusive

Bring your 'whole self' to Chippenham Collective.

One of our core values is being non-judgemental so no one should feel marginalised because of their sexual identity. All are welcome.

Diversity celebrated

A warm welcome awaits.

We seek to include people from every background represented in Chippenham, so please don't think that your culture or ethnicity will make you less welcome at Chippenham Collective. 

Karibuni as they say in East Africa - welcome all!

Join Chippenham Collective

It can be hard to take the first step - we have all been there - but your interest will be warmly welcomed.

Current sessions

At the moment we run two sessions a week, including all bank holidays (except Christmas Day). 

If the weather is bad we will just go for a coffee or something similar!

We are closed every year from 1 - 31 January.

Thursday evening sessions are every 4 weeks from March to October.


  • Sunday
    • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Monday
    • 10:00 am – 01:00 pm
  • Tue – Sat
    • Closed

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