A community scheme that helps adults with learning disabilities acquire new skills is celebrating after being awarded its first contract to supply a local gift shop with ceramic merchandise.
The Blyth Riverside Resource Centre, in Coniston Road, has recently been fitted with a new ceramics studio and a pottery kiln.
Adults attending the centre are now getting involved in decorating and glazing china mugs and ceramic coasters.
Representatives from the Aln Valley Railway Project in Alnwick have been so impressed by the designs, quality and craftsmanship of the work that has been produced that they have agreed to stock the products in their gift shop.
Northumberland County Council runs eight learning day centres across the county where staff help over 170 adults with learning disabilities acquire new skills.
The products that are made in the centres are then marketed under the ‘Made in Northumberland’ banner and sold at day centres, local outlets, Hepscott Park Café near Morpeth and Aln Valley Heritage Railway gift shop in Lionheart Enterprise Park, Alnwick.
Coun Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult care and public health, said: “The centres provide vulnerable adults with a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and develop their self-esteem while preparing them for future employment or voluntary work.
“I have seen the time, effort and pride that goes into their work and have been impressed by the quality products they produce.”
Hepscott Park café and garden centre is open Monday to Friday 7.30am to 3.30pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm, and Aln Valley Railway café and gift shop is open from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.