A sixth-month horticultural pilot project has helped unemployed people in south east Northumberland to develop skills to move closer to finding work.
Wansbeck Centre for Voluntary Service has been delivering the ‘Seeds to Success ‘project in partnership with Ashington Allotment Society.
Funded through Jobcentre Plus and Flexible Support Fund, the initiative has enabled local unemployed people to develop the skills to move them closer to employment through structured support with a focus on those with learning difficulties, lone parents and carers.
Employability manager Anne Kidd said: “The long term aim for the allotment is to develop a vegetable patch, orchard, sensory garden and nurture plants.
“The fresh produce grown will eventually provide affordable fruit and vegetables for families on low income and the elderly.
“The produce can also be donated to the local churches to support the ever demanding need for food banks.
“Not only has the allotment site been transformed but the participants themselves have achieved so much by being involved.”
Seven people engaged with the project, and four have already gained employment.
Two are working at a caravan park doing ground maintenance after being unemployed for a long period, and one who had also been out of work for a substantial amount of time due to caring responsibilities, gained employment as a match steward.