The aims of the Camelia Botnar Foundation CEO


The 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 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.


About the Trainees


We endeavour 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 develop as individuals and produce items like these.

We have several different departments to choose from.

Welcome aug_edited.jpg

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 our metalwork department for unique, handmade products you will not find anywhere else.

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  for more information on the work involved in each of our 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. 

What our trainees have to say ...


........"the Foundation has taught me a trade and put me on the right path.  I came with nothing and will leave a fully qualified Carpenter".

Carpenter, Camelia Botnar Foundation


....."the Foundation has put me on the right track and given me a qualification. I am confident that I can now succeed in life".

Metalwork, Camelia Botnar Foundation