Findhorn for the socially excluded

Building a healthier world, together

Download PDFThe Findhorn Foundation is a world-renowned centre for life-long learning set within a community and ecovillage in the north of Scotland. The Foundation has provided experiential learning and discovery since 1974.

Our site at The Park, Findhorn, provides a welcoming and supportive environment for people of all ages and backgrounds – a place to reconnect socially, feel appreciated and useful, learn health, nutrition and practical skills, and develop self-respect and a positive attitude to life. It is ideal for local charities, governmental agencies and other groups seeking to turn around the lives of disadvantaged and disengaged people of all ages.

At the Foundation we use the therapeutic power of working outdoors – planting seeds, mixing compost, watering and harvesting flowers and vegetables, building and repairing sheds and shelters – to help nurture a similar process of growth and renewal in those who are or have been socially excluded.

We believe that we make a positive contribution to people’s lives and are helping create a healthier world for everyone.

Our aim is to help develop practical and social skills and improve self confidence and self worth. We offer bespoke packages:

  • empowering the individual
  • building life skills
  • promoting health and wellbeing
  • providing group building activities
  • developing self confidence and authenticity
  • sharing principles of sustainable living

Opportunities to grow:

1. A Great Day Out

Experience a sustainable lifestyle firsthand on an ecovillage tour: visit ecological buildings and learn about renewable energy. Lunch in the community centre, then a choice of activities including organic gardening, group discovery games, team building, reflective time.

This day at The Park, Findhorn, can take many forms including:

  • A tour of the Findhorn ecovillage: including ecological houses with grass roofs and strawbale insulation, recycled whisky barrel houses, windmills and The Living Machine waste water purification plant. Learn about sustainable living including permaculture, organic gardening and renewable energy.
  • Group discovery games
  • Team building exercises and games
  • Learning to communicate non-violently
  • Learning practical skills in our gardens
  • A half-day group project – completing a task in the gardens or maintenance areas
  • Art sessions
  • Quiet time or mindfulness exercises
  • Joining the community for a tasty, vegetarian lunch, with many ingredients locally and organically grown.

This programme can also be offered as a half-day experience.

2. Residential Weeks

A unique opportunity to experience community life joining the garden, kitchen, housekeeping or maintenance teams and enjoying the many opportunities for creativity and social interaction.

A live-in week brings positive shifts in attitude, behaviour and outlook on life and a chance to integrate these more fully into daily life.

There is plenty of time for creative self-expression, laughter, learning new skills and taking part in activities tailored to the particular needs of the group such as dance, team building, art, nonviolent communication, a nature outing, conflict resolution, games, singing, personal sharing, a group project, telling and hearing life-stories, looking at fears and blocks, hearing from community members who have had similar challenges in their lives, and facilitated group dynamics.

In short, time to reconnect with the infinite possibilities of life!

3. Long Term Partnerships

After an initial visit groups can take part in experiential learning, developing practical skills in our gardens or with the maintenance team a half day or one day per week.

Spending time at The Park each week will:

  • Create a long term relationship with their work group
  • Build a feeling of familiarity and belonging
  • Help develop practical and social skills
  • Provide experiences in sustainable lifestyles
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Encourage a sense of achievement
  • Increase self-acceptance, self-respect and self-worth
  • Encourage a sense of responsibility
  • Re-establish trust and motivation
  • Help develop authenticity, clarity, openness and deep listening
  • Gently encourage risk-taking
  • Increase participation in work, community and life
  • Help participants feel part of a larger whole
  • Improve communication and life skills
  • Improve employment expectations and opportunities

Talk to Us – we can create a programme to support you and the people in your group.

For more information about the content and cost of our programmes email or call 01309 690311.

What people have said about us:

The Park – such a relaxing positive atmosphere… people are friendly, warm and welcoming… I want to come and learn how to grow vegetables… the whole thing makes me feel good… a happy day.

Local participants

Interested in working with us?

To arrange an initial meeting, call us on 01309 690311, or email .

1. Getting Started

  • Meet with a Foundation person to discuss your needs. Take an escorted tour of community facilities to assess suitability for both parties. A Great Day Out (GDO) strongly recommended unless booking a residential week.
  • Menu of possible activities for GDO given. Costings, risk assessment, disclosure and possible dates discussed. Date confirmed.

2. Two weeks before

  • Details of chosen GDO activities submitted by client
  • 30% deposit required
  • Pre-visit questionnaires completed
  • Risk assessment completed by both sides
  • Any necessary disclosures completed

3. Group prepare for their visit.

  • Suggestions sent by Findhorn Foundation.

Ongoing partnerships after A Great Day Out:

  1. Debrief A Great Day Out. Discuss and create an ongoing programme to suit your group.
  2. Confirm that you will provide a social worker or support person to accompany your group at all times, including participants/staff ratio of 3:1.
  3. Confirm costings and payment schedule, prepare and sign agreement. Clarify what risk assessment, insurance and pre and post impact studies are needed. Clarify legal responsibility.
  4. Be assigned a Foundation staff person to be with the group at all times. (Please note our staff people are not trained social workers. They do, however, have years of experience with individuals and groups of all ages and from all backgrounds and bring high levels of care, compassion and skill to their work.)
  5. Finalise times, dates and communication channels for lateness/no shows.

The Foundation reserves the right to refuse to continue with the collaboration if participation proves to be inappropriate.