A mental health and learning disability charity is helping its service users and residents across Northumberland stay busy with gardening projects.
Throughout lockdown, Blyth Star Enterprises’ Stakeford Nurseries has delivered fresh produce, plants and flowers to residents of Blyth, Choppington and the surrounding areas.
Deliveries included 25 tomato plants to service users, who’ve tended to and grown plants at home. Such activities have helped individuals, who’d normally attend the Nurseries to work in a supported environment, stay focused and in a daily routine.
Throughout lockdown and as restrictions start to ease, staff from the Nurseries are checking in with everyone who’d normally be on site helping.
Daniel Hedley, horticultural services manager at the Nurseries said: “I’m really proud of everyone at the Nurseries, over the past few months they’ve adapted to new working routines, caring for existing produce on site and making deliveries within the local area.
“Alongside keeping the Nurseries running, staff have reached out to our service users, ensuring that they’re in a good place mentally and that they’re staying green fingered.
“Lockdown has been difficult for many and gardening has become a welcome escape, several of our service users have started their own home DIY garden projects and have been caring for their tomato plants, taking the skills they’ve learnt on site and implementing them at home.
“Growing something from scratch and seeing its progress can be very rewarding and helps individuals stay focused and motivated. We’re hoping to welcome our service users and customers back on site in the coming months and are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support.”
Gordon Moore MBE, CEO of Blyth Star Enterprises added: “Daniel and the team at Stakeford Nurseries have gone above and beyond for their service users whilst continuing to fulfil orders. All funds raised through sales of produce grown at the Nurseries are reinvested into the charity and help us continue to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
“I’m proud of everyone for adapting, remaining connected and for most importantly, finding ways to get out there in the garden and implement their skills.”