Growing project for people with learning disabilities taking root

HERE WE GROW: Members of the East Boro gardening project, Weymouth

HERE WE GROW: Members of the East Boro gardening project, Weymouth

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

A NEW gardening project for people with learning disabilities is taking root in Weymouth.

East Boro, which provides housing and support services for vulnerable clients across Dorset, is running the scheme on land at Farmer P’s at Redlands.

The project is open to anyone with a learning disability and participants will get the chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables and take them home to enjoy.

Mary Stepin from East Boro said: “We ran the project as a pilot scheme last year and it proved so successful that we are now doing it again on a larger scale.

“The project gives people with all levels of learning disabilities the opportunity to plant, grow and harvest crops. After that they get to enjoy the best bit – taking the produce home and eating it.

“As an organisation East Boro is passionate about promoting healthy living and lifestyles and the gardening project is an excellent example of this.

“It gets people outside, doing physical exercise, and a lot of thought is put into what is grown based on its nutritional and dietary value.

“Sitting down to enjoy fruit and vegetables as part of a meal knowing you’ve actually planted, nurtured and harvested the produce yourself is such a rewarding experience.”

She added: “On top of that, the garden is also a great conservation and nature area and our aim is to encourage wildlife, birds, insects and sustainable bio-diversity.”

The project gets under way on Monday, April 7 and will run every Monday from 10.30am to 1.30pm until the end of September.

To book or for more information on the project, contact Sue Porter on 01305 750304 or Maria Holmes on 01202 883503.

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