A MUCH loved horticultural centre is celebrating a landmark anniversary after helping vulnerable adults reach their full potential for three decades.

Northdale Horticulture first opened its doors in Northallerton 30 years ago recognising the important role work can play in an individual’s life.

More than 160 staff, clients and supporters of the charity celebrated the anniversary at a glittering ball at the Golden Lion Hotel, Northallerton.

Service manager Simon Cross said: “The fact so many people wanted to come to the ball shows the high esteem in which this community holds Northdale.

“It was great to welcome friends past and present and everyone had a fantastic evening, a fitting celebration of such an important milestone.”

Northdale Horticultural began in 1988 on land behind the old maternity hospital to help people in the Hambleton and Richmondshire districts.

It has expanded over the years and is now based in Yafforth Road, where it helps up to 70 clients aged 19 to 76, offering training in woodwork, garden nursery work, landscape gardening, card and gift design and retail.

Clients with learning difficulties take part in a host of work-based activities that help provide structure, purpose and direction while also maintaining and developing a wide range of social and vocational skills.

Mr Cross said: “The benefits are many and include an increased sense of self-worth, a sense of purpose and direction, a more positive outlook on life, the development and maintenance of work and social skills and pride gained via personal achievement.”

Northdale also provides the Hub, a centre for personalised learning for The Dales School, which helps students with complex needs.

Personalised learning pathways are supported by the Child and Young Peoples’ Service giving young people access to a variety of opportunities after leaving school.

The programmes are supported by staff from The Dales School, other local education providers, specialist work trainers, specialist careers advisors, health and adult services.

Each individual pathway is unique to the student helping them develop skills around independent living, employment, personal progress, communication and advocacy, travel training, accessing the community and working with others. Many leave with recognised qualifications.

Northdale Horticulture encourages the whole community to access the charity’s nursery and on-site resources. The grounds at Northdale are open for school and community use all year round.

Features include disabled toileting with hoist and changing facilities; access for wheelchairs throughout; a plant centre selling stock produced by clients; workshop rooms for arts and crafts and woodwork; outside summer room for work or lunchtime use; communal rest areas; a card and gift-shop selling work produced by clients; nature trail built by local artists; adult trim trail and play area; and a pop up tea room.

For more information on the centre visit www.northdale.org.