Peppertree Place is an amazing community oasis situated on the corner of Bell Street and Sydney Road in the heart of Coburg, incorporating a beautiful community-powered garden, nursery and café. Kildonan Uniting Care initially established Peppertree Place on land owned by the Uniting Church, and delivered small scale community programs on site for almost 15 years.
After the closure of the much-loved Peppertree Place by Uniting (Kildonan Uniting Care) in September 2018, a hardworking group of community volunteers undertook the challenge of reopening the site. Known as the Friends of Peppertree Place, this group lobbied hard with Uniting, the local Coburg Uniting Church and local government to find a future for this beautiful place.
Moreland Community Gardening (MCG) joined the Friends of Peppertree Place under a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2018 to help support a future for the site and its existing community. Late in 2018 it became clear that MCG, being a small not-for-profit whose goal is to increase community gardening in Moreland, could not carry the financial strain or meet the development needs of Peppertree Place within the required timeframe. With an initial lease ending in December 2020, time was of the essence if the community was to prove the value of Peppertree Place.
A fortuitous phone call introduced the team at Kevin Heinze Grow (KHG) to Peppertree Place and a beneficial relationship was seeded. KHG has 40 years of experience in delivering therapeutic services at its Doncaster site, growing from a strong volunteer base just like Peppertree Place. Commencing delivery at a second site like Peppertree Place provides the perfect opportunity to extend the reach of KHG into new communities, while retaining this valuable community asset into the future.
Our mission is to deliver experiential learning and positive personal development. In one way or another this has been our focus for 40 years. We grow people. With the highly qualified team we have today, we are confident of a future that continues to support and inspire individuals. While we retain a core focus on disability, our mission and the interests of our growing team have led us to expand our service offer to a variety of vulnerable groups in the community. Our youngest participant is 8 and our eldest is 80. Their experiences and needs are extremely diverse, and most face a range of complex challenges impacting on their ability to embrace opportunities in life and to fully participate in their communities. Our team provides a range of services aimed at improving lives, including daily activities, occupational therapy, speech pathology, individual and group-based development, accredited and non-accredited training, gardening and personal support.
The Kevin Heinze Grow model is a unique way of providing significant results using a creative method. This is a proven model that has been developed by our exceptional group of multidisciplinary professionals. We use the peaceful stress-free environment of a garden to support social, emotional, educational and vocational goals, enabling us to work holistically with people to meet their needs and achieve exceptional outcomes. It can be a life-changing experience. The garden and our nursery remain the core around which everything else rotates, but our service offer is larger than ever before. Each individual participant has their own weekly schedule. No two are the same. Peppertree Place is a place filled with compassion, acceptance, love and laughter, and we’re all the better for it.