North East Connected

Sowing the seeds for a brighter future

DSC07137Changing lives is the day job for staff and volunteers at Stockton’s Sowing Seeds Ministries.

But this time it was their turn to be at the receiving end of a helping hand.

A group of unemployed young people, taking part in The Prince’s Trust Team programme, volunteered their time and efforts to renovate the charity’s community classroom.

The centre on Bishopton Lane, Stockton, now has a dedicated space for its visitors to learn.

Natasha Seed, who runs the ministry with her husband, Gram, explained: “We are a Christian Discipleship Centre offering support to people at their time of need.”

Offering a warm welcome and a listening ear, they offer a selection of services and activities, including a small gym and short courses, for those facing a range of personal issues.

Natasha said: “When the young people from The Prince’s Trust Stockton Team offered to help out we snapped them up.”

After all, she explains every penny saved goes towards helping more people.

The Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by Stockton Riverside College, is a personal development course offering young people aged 16 to 25 the chance to earn a recognised qualification while taking part in a range of tasks and challenges. Carrying out a community project is an integral part of the 12-week scheme.

Committing two weeks to the refurbishment at Sowing Seeds Ministries a group of seven young people moved the charity’s learning area from a makeshift space to a room transformed into a dedicated classroom. Adding comfy seating and a games area, The Prince’s Trust Team helped plaster walls, paint decorate and add motivational motifs.

With £500 funding from North Star Housing Group they were also able to buy additional pieces of furniture, a clock and some accessories to help make the room feel more like a  home.

“The room that they have transformed will make a massive difference to our service users,” said Natasha. “Now we have a convenient space where people can go and feel comfortable and relaxed.”

Prince’s Trust student Ben Sorbie, 17, from Grangetown, Middlesbrough, said: “We chose this project because it is in the local area and plays a big part in helping people to get back on their feet.”

Christian Scamp, 19, from Ingleby Barwick, added: “It feels pretty good to have done something that helps make a change for the community.”

Stockton Riverside College delivers Prince’s Trust Team programmes at locations across the region including Stockton, Middlesbrough, Billingham and Redcar. For details visit or call 01642 865 566.

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