About The Camelia Botnar Foundation and the Camelia Botnar Garden Centre

About Camelia Botnar Garden Centre

A lot of the  plants at Camelia Botnar Garden Centre are grown by the beneficiaries of The Camelia Botnar Foundation. Therefore, by purchasing a plant at Camelia Botnar Garden Centre, you are supporting youngsters in their journey to a skilled profession.

Explore the many different departments including Blacksmiths, Horticulture for unique, handmade products you will not find anywhere else.

About Camelia Botnar Foundation

The Camelia Botnar Foundation was established in 1979 by Octav Botnar and his wife Marcela, in memory of their only child, Camelia, who was killed in a car accident at the age of 20. Octav Botnar was a highly successful entrepreneur whose commercial skills were legendary in the motor trade. He was a great, although discreet philanthropist and made donations of millions to charities during his lifetime. He died in 1998 at the age of 84, leaving the Camelia Botnar Foundation as his enduring legacy to helping young people in difficulty.

Camelia Botnar

Camelia Botnar





Camelia Botnar Foundation provides residential training and work experience, helping young people to learn a skilled trade, embark on a useful career path and successfully make their own way in life. The Foundation invites applications from anywhere in the UK. Potential trainees can be either male or female, but must be aged between 16 and 19 and have left full time schooling.

Applicants should be in a  disadvantaged or problematic situation. They may be referred to the Foundation by their probation officers, social services, schools, organisations that help young people in difficulty, or by direct approach from relatives, guardians or the applicants themselves.  Whatever the referral, each application must be voluntary. No previous experience in a particular craft or skill is needed and no academic requirements are imposed.

The Foundation welcomes applications from anyone who meets the basic entry criteria and who have a real and positive commitment to learning a skilled trade and to changing the pattern of their life for the better and for good

Do you know someone who will fit the bill?

We welcome applications throughout the year. If you are interested, please see the Camelia Botnar Foundation website www.cameliabotnar.com  for more information on the work involved in each of our eight departments. From the website you can download and print off an  application form, or you can submit an online application. If you fit our criteria and are between the ages of 16-19 we would be pleased to hear from you. We currently have vacancies in our catering, pottery and horticulture departments.

Our Aims

  • offering life changing opportunities.
  • gaining a second chance at success.
  • learning a skilled trade, obtaining qualifications and building up some savings.

We endeavor to train and educate 16-21 year olds who are in problematic situations at  home due to circumstances outside of their control.  They are enabled to improve conditions in their lives and to develop as individuals.

No educational qualifications are necessary and previous difficulties at school, at home, or with the authorities will not necessarily prejudice an admission. Each applicant is considered on his or her own merit.

The overriding requirements are that trainees are seriously committed to learning their chosen trade, and are prepared to adapt to the work ethic and to observe basic standards of behaviour.  Also candidates must be physically capable of doing a full days’ work.  The Foundation aims to give young people a second chance to succeed.

In order to achieve these aims, the Foundation has established a residential training work experience complex in a spacious country estate at Cowfold, West Sussex.  Training and work experience is offered in a wide range of craft and trade disciplines.

Products made by the trainees, are designed and finished to a high standard, and retailed commercially through Camelia Botnar Garden Centre, the Foundation’s retail outlet.

Explore our showrooms at  Camelia Botnar Garden Centre we have a great selection of goods.

Contact us today! We'd love to hear from you.

Message from Camelia Botnar Garden Centre website

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