Member Article

Gardening scheme boosts prospects for Teesside youngsters

A scheme to help youngsters on Teesside into the jobs markets has received a boost from UK Steel Enterprise, the business support subsidiary of Tata Steel.

The SowToGrow project helps young people between the ages of 14 and 18 who are not in employment or training or have been excluded from school to develop skills to start a career in horticulture.

Run by youth charity The Prince’s Trust in partnership with Groundwork North East and East Coast training, the projects supports around 50 individuals each year gain qualifications in horticulture as well as a range of skills necessary for success in the workplace.

To support the scheme UK Steel Enterprise’s Community Support Fund has donated £3000 to provide a polytunnel on the Centre’s allotment.

Jane Kendall of The Prince’s Trust in the North East said: “The help from UK Steel Enterprise is fantastic as the money is enabling these young people to do something so valuable, acquire qualifications and gain a real sense of pride.

This support is a good example of how we can all work together to help get young people into work in Teesside.“

Mike Dent from Groundwork North East was also delighted with the polytunnel, which will allow produce to be cultivated in all weathers. He added: This is hands-on practical work and horticulture is an expanding industry so there are jobs available.

“The five young people currently on the course are fantastic and doing really well.”

Fruit and vegetables cultivated by the youngsters is donated to homeless people living in supported housing, and it is hoped that the scheme will be involved with the Saltburn in Bloom initiative.

“Our Community Support Fund is all about improving life for people living in steel areas,” explained Simon Hamilton, UK Steel Enterprise’s Regional Manager. “SowToGrow helps young people’s employment prospects and supports others in need with food as well so we are delighted to be supporting it.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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