Gardeners with learning and physical disabilities have received a welcome boost from Hastings Borough Council.
The council’s grounds maintenance contractor The Landscape Group has donated surplus plants to The Parchment Trust Limited and the Friary Gardeners.
Cllr Warren Davies the council’s lead member for environment, leisure and amenities explained: “Our contractors have done a magnificent job this year with our summer planting schemes and rather than letting the surplus bedding go to waste they wanted to donate it to a worthy cause.
“The Parchment Trust Limited is a registered charity, founded in 1993 to serve people with learning and physical disabilities in East Sussex.
“They provide opportunities for learning, occupation, socialising and access to the community including Friary Gardeners, a horticultural scheme for people with a variety of disabilities.
“The Friary Gardeners will be able to sell the plants on to raise much needed funds for their charity and we are pleased to be able to support this very worthy cause”.
The Trust provides services that respond to individual needs, with person-centred support. It provides opportunities for learning, occupation, socialising and access to the community.
Originally established in Winchelsea in 1988, Friary Gardeners has been based at Ore Place Farm since early 1995.
The attractive two-acre site was derelict but is now fully operational and is continuously being developed and improved.
Activities include: propagating seeds, which are then sown and grown for sale to the general public; growing fruit and vegetables; assisting less able people in the community to maintain their gardens; crafts and ceramics.
Around 35 - 40 people attend the project each day.
The gardens, although secluded, are conveniently located just off the Ridge at Hastings, close to St Helen’s Woods and are easily accessible to service users by both private and public transport.
A a £420,000 grant, won by the charity in 2012, allowed it to carry out major improvements to the site including a new kitchen, classroom and specially adapted toilet facilities.
The project has the backing of Hastings MP Amber Rudd, who said: “I am a huge supporter of the Parchment Trust and the Friary Gardeners and the work they do.”
The charity relies on donations to fund capital projects and to enhance the quality of the services it provides.
To find out more about the charity and Friary Gardeners and how you can help or get involved, visit: www.parchment-trust.org.uk.
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