the workshops

The working life of The Lantern Community is active and productive, and is a social enterprise in itself.

Our Workshops are managed by individuals who are highly qualified and are Masters in their respective fields, each having experience in supporting and passing on their skills to others. Additional supporting Co-Workers also work alongside, as part of the team.

To offer a meaningful, balanced working life for everyone, is our endeavour. Each person’s contribution is important. Through ones work, individuals gain dignity and a sense of self-worth. Responsibility and potential are developed, whilst work also provides an avenue for both vocational training and learning new skills.

An individualised workshop programme is arranged, suited to each individual’s needs, interest and choice.

Products from our Workshops are available to purchase from the Lantern Shop. As a not- for-profit Charity, any surplus that we achieve is invested within the Lantern Community.

We also offer work experience and skills training to individuals who are not resident in The Lantern Community. This is known as “Day Placement Admission”.


Contact: Emma Borbely – Day Services Manager
☎︎ 01425 460204

The Art Studio

The Art Studio is a fun place to be...


Welcome to the art studio! Every morning and afternoon, a team of four artists come together to paint, draw, sculpt and create both group and individual artwork. The art studio is a vibrant workshop and an important space for creative productivity.
Our art can be inspired by anything that interests us – including the seasons and festivals.

Many artists prefer certain media, such as watercolour painting, collage, lino printing, sculpting in stone or paper mache, drawing or using pastels, however we all try new techniques and materials to bring our ideas to life. You will often find greetings cards, paintings, prints and paper mache in the shop that have been created in the art studio, and we are happy to receive requests for commissioned projects.

art bells

We value a positive and playful atmosphere, a place where we can feel confident and appreciated for our efforts, enjoy working together, grow our self-expression and contribute to the artistic life of the community. We enjoy sharing our creativity with the other workshops, the wider community and those who come to visit. We’re proud of the contribution we make to building an inspirational place to live, work and thrive.


☎︎ 07543 611119

the weavery

The Weavery is one of the Lantern's most colourful places...

Walk into the workshop of the Lantern Weavers and you will be greeted by an abundance of lively colour and textures. The workshop is a light filled space with an atmosphere of both intense activity and thoughtful reflection. The workshop provides a positive and stimulating environment enabling individuals to lead a meaningful working life.

Emphasis is on acquiring and developing new skills and experiencing craft techniques. Importance is also placed upon the social skills that develop intrinsically when one is an active member of a committed working team. There are usually up to eight adults with a learning difficulty working in this workshop each day, Monday to Friday, making up a team of skilled craftspeople.

The weaving is carried out on traditional hand looms. We have eight floor looms with foot treadles, and six table top looms. The aim is to produce cloth of a high standard that is attractive, well made and that will last. The yarns used are mostly cotton, linen or wool and are often unbleached or dyed in-house using natural dyes.

The range of products includes rugs, blankets, table runners, large floor cushions, tea towels, lavender bags and scarves. Simple, beautiful and functional designs to be valued and appreciated.

The workshop is regularly opened to visitors. This gives an opportunity for meeting the weavers and to see the work in progress. The weavers are happy to take commissions from individual customers. The products are sold through the Lantern Shop and at arts and crafts shows throughout the year.

Each weaver experiences a sense of self-worth through creating something that is useful and enjoyed by the customer. As a team, we design our weaving around a seasonal colour theme, creating an attractive cohesive range of goods with a wide appeal. Individual weavers also come with suggestions and enjoy selecting colours and yarns to create their cloth, giving the end product a unique quality. 

“If you have woven the cloth yourself it has something of you in it, it is from your hand, your imagination, and the beauty of the cloth and the skill of its maker can be seen”


☎︎ 07548 029516

The Lantern bakery

Using traditional handcrafted methods and natural organic ingredients

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Where creating our daily bread means more than just baking a loaf!

The Lantern Bakery aspires to create a delicious, high quality product range, using traditional handcrafted methods and natural organic ingredients. 

In the Lantern Bakery there is the opportunity for the companions to experience the process of creating “our daily bread” from the beginning to the end as well as the development of a good work ethos where everyone takes pride in what they have created. The atmosphere in the bakery is a positive one, where each person knows their role in the bread making process and is proud to be part of the team. 

Some of the Companions who work in the bakery have been bakers for 20 years, building on their skills and knowledge each year. The experience of being there each day and contributing in a positive way with such a meaningful and worthwhile outcome helps build confidence and a sense of purpose and achievement. 

Gareth has been a baker for over 20 years and he says “My job is to prepare the cheese buns with pumpkinseed topping, I like doing this”. These buns are one of our top selling products. Simon has also been a baker for many years he says, “It is my job to weigh the flour and mould the bread”.

From Monday to Friday, each morning the bakery team produces a variety of healthy wholesome organic breads and rolls, all baked with love for our customers. In addition there is a special wheat free and dairy free dietary range available on certain days as well as pastries and organic handmade biscuits and cakes.. The bread, pastries and biscuits which are baked each day are sold in the Lantern Shop and the bakery also provides bread for theresidents living onsite in the community. 

The Lantern Bakery prides itself on preparing and baking bread the “old fashioned way” using organic ingredients wherever possible without additives or preservatives in any of the products. This is not an ordinary bakery and involves much more than simply baking a loaf of bread. It provides meaningful work which makes a difference to many people’s lives. Through their work, individuals gain dignity and a sense of self-worth. There is an unspoken reverence and respect for the daily bread that is baked in the Lantern Bakery, there is recognition that a good loaf, baked with so much love and care, feeds much more than just the body.


The Lantern Bakery, Folly Farm Lane, Ringwood, Hants, BH24 2NN
☎︎ 07928 917265
Head Baker: Ashley Black
The Lantern Bakers are happy to receive phone orders.
The Bakers bake Monday – Friday only.

The Café

The Lantern Café and Shop are housed within the Lantern Centre. An award winning, beautiful building, selling fair trade gifts, organic food, organic toiletries, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.


The Lantern Café is situated within the Lantern Centre, an award winning, beautiful building, housing a shop selling fair trade gifts, organic food, organic toiletries, and environmentally friendly cleaning products, as well as our bookshop.

The Café lunch menu offers simple but delicious lunches, including our infamous quiches and frittata’s which arefreshly created each day in our kitchen. All our cakes are “home made”. There is a full range of Organic coffee, tea and fruit teas.

There is outside seating for the glorious sunny days with gardens, a pond and a small children’s play area.


The atmosphere is calm, a peaceful oasis to unwind and relax, have a potter around our lovely gift shop where some of the products for sale have been lovingly made on site in our workshops by true craftsmen.

We are on the doorstep of the New Forest and also Moors Valley Country Park with its cycle trailway (Castleman Trailway). Our Café is ideal for walkers and cyclists alike to take a breather and nourish body and soul.

Do come along and experience what we have to offer, we look forward to welcoming you!

We are happy to accept bookings for lunch or afternoon tea.


☎︎ 01425 473159

Café Opening Times

Monday – Friday 8.30am-4.00pm
Lunch/Hot food is served 12-2pm
Last orders are at 4pm, but you are welcome to stay till 4.30 to finish your tea!

Saturday 9.00am – 2.00pm
Lunch/Hot food is served 12-2pm
Last orders 2pm, you are welcome to stay till 2.30 to finish your meal.

— The cafe will be closed on Saturdays until end of March —

Please Note: We are closed Sundays and Bank Holidays

The Lantern Gardens

Working on the land and gardens at Lantern Community

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The Land Craft is a large and very varied workshop with jobs suitable for all abilities. There are 15 acres of land and gardens to maintain.

Our large Community garden has streams, ditches, flowerbeds and specimen trees all linked by a network of paths which we encourage the wider community to enjoy. Next to the Community Garden is our duck pond and chicken field where we produce free range eggs.


Much of our estate work is seasonal with grass cutting, hedge trimming and weeding predominantly in the summer and road sweeping and leaf collections in the winter. All the leaves collected from our site are composited into leaf mould. A combination of leaf mould and compost is sieved and used in potted plant production on our nursery.

We also like to be involved in craft activities using products from the gardens such as creating willow sculptures for the garden ,willow hearts for valentines, andadvent logs and rings for Christmas.


The shop

The Lantern Café and Shop are housed within the Lantern Centre. An award winning, beautiful building, selling fair trade gifts, organic food, organic toiletries, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.




    the pottery

    The craft of pottery works with the four elements; earth, air, fire, water.

    The Lantern Potters are an enthusiastic group of individuals, engaged in the process of creating beautiful and useful ceramic items for everyday use. 

    The ware that is produced is often the result of teamwork in the different areas of production from manufacturing, decorating, glazing, but being an individual, each beautiful finished product, bears the skill, pride and commitment of each contributor.

    The aim of the workshop is to create high quality products, alongside training and skills development. There are up to 8 adults with a learning difficulty working together with 2 experienced professional potters.

    Our enjoyable ranges of tableware include breakfast and dinner sets, using a combination of slabs, jolly jigger and press mould techniques. Each team member contributes their unique abilities to create accomplished and attractive products. These ranges are developed alongside individual projects where creativity is explored.

    The pottery is available for purchase through the Lantern Shop or during the Hampshire open studios in the Summer, or our Winter exhibition in November.


    ☎︎ 07928 917256


    Where nature and craft meet..


    The Lantern Seasonal workshop is a lively group of individuals who use natural materials to make beautiful products that reflect the changing seasons in the year.

    Each season has its own mood, this mood is reflected through the work we produce and the kind of materials we use.  We might take our inspiration from the natural environment around us or from the festivals we celebrate within the Lantern Community. The seasonal cycle creates a healing rhythm that connects us to the natural world, and reminds us of our commitment to working with what nature has to offer us.

    You will find the seasonal team working with a diverse range of materials such as herbs from our garden, apples and blackberries from the Lantern Estate, willow, locally sourced sheep and alpaca fleece, paper and beeswax to name a few. Each material has its own character and requires different approaches ensuring we remain creative and flexible.

    As well as working responsively to nature we are also working with whole processes. Our materials go through many different stages before culminating in a final product. Sheep fleece, for example, might need to be washed, dried, sorted, teased, carded and then wet or dry felted. The different aspects of these processes can be accessed by  members of our team depending on their interests, skills or abilities. We place emphasis on developing craft skills by building on techniques and adapting activities to suit individual needs and interests.

    In a working day there will be up to eight individuals who have a range of diverse learning disabilities who are part of the team of skilled craft makers working within the workshop. In working closely as a group we develop not only technical skills but also social skills. Learning to collaborate with and support each other through the making process.

    Each of the makers experiences a sense of pride and self worth from making something beautiful and useful that can be sold in our shop or at the Hampshire Open Studios or our Winter Fayre. The value and appreciation of our customers enhances the meaning we get from our working life.


    “When I come into Seasonal it brings a smile to my face, I enjoy being with people and working together. Seasonal moves with the seasons so we make a lot of different things.”

    Mark W


    ☎︎ 07543640652

    woodwork Studio

    Where sanding, painting, varnishing and assembly provides an opportunity to develop woodwork skills in a social environment

    A visit to the woodwork will most often find a cheery group of people gathered around the tables, contentedly working together. 

    The woodwork aims to provide a meaningful place for the companions where they can enjoy contributing to the production of a wide range of products, including: bird boxes, garden tables, finely polished spoons, candleholders, napkin rings, and butter knives. It is a source of great pride and satisfaction for the companions to see these products for sale in the shop. 

    The Workshop Team Leader works with the companions to design and create unique seasonal products and decorations. Ideas are always freely expressed, on the chalkboard, in miniature, or with leftover wood. These designs always have an anthroposophical influence, a system which is educational and creative, as well as therapeutic. The designs utilize smooth surfaces, flowing lines, and curves to optimise physical and mental well-being. 

    Woodwork also undertakes many small commissions from both the public and from within the community that adds further variety to the responsibilities of this very popular workshop. Much of the wood is timber from our own trees, and it is used alongside donations from furniture makers and joinery shops. Recycling at it’s finest!

    Companions can take part in activities such as assembling birdhouses, small furniture and decorations, sanding wooden cutlery, polishing candle holders, painting projects, and varnishing. 

    Our primary aim is to enable everyone in the woodwork to be as free as possible to choose what they want to do, whilst providing assistance that doesn’t infringe on their independence. Woodwork strives to provide this freedom whilst maintaining a joyous and caring atmosphere that benefits the whole community.


    ☎︎ 07999 311423