During the three years that it ran, from 2008 until 2011, Taste of Eden welcomed more than 115 people through its doors, taking them on a personal journey to overcome the personal barriers that stood in the way of achieving their goals. Some 50 people obtained work as a result of taking part.

An outline of the programme

Financed by the European Social Fund as a way of extending employment opportunities in a relatively deprived region, the scheme drew on the Eden Project site and workplace to offer participants a powerful experience. Taste of Eden included several key elements:

Taste of Eden immersion days

Individuals visited Eden for an extensive behind-the-scenes tour, learning how the tourist attraction is run and meeting the diverse teams that make the visitor experience what it is. They also took part in a staff induction day that introduces Eden as a workplace. By the end of these two days they were encouraged to choose three areas of interest for their forthcoming work experience.

Taste of Eden makes me feel worthwhile, gives me focus. It feels like I am actually doing something with my time.

Taste of Eden participant

Work placement

The goal of the 13-week, unpaid placement was to give participants the skills and confidence to move into employment and to help them identify any needs for further training. Many undertook their placement at Eden, in one of the teams chosen during their immersion day; others did theirs at an organisation or business within the local area.

Skills workshops

During their 13-week placement at Eden, participants chose from a series of workshops that encourage ‘good working’, including:

  • stress management
  • time keeping
  • team working
  • communication skills
  • key skills (numeracy and literacy)
  • CV writing, interview techniques and job searching.

Personal action plans

Monthly meetings with participants gave them an opportunity to assess their progress and plan the next steps need to get into employment, either at Eden or elsewhere.

How to volunteer at Eden

Taste of Eden has now finished, but if you'd like to volunteer at Eden, you can apply for a placement via our Volunteering pages.