Unit gets donation of garden items

Carl Martin, centre, of All Saints Living, with skills unit learner Richard Cook, left, and horticulturist Robbie Pendrich with some of the donated plants.
Carl Martin, centre, of All Saints Living, with skills unit learner Richard Cook, left, and horticulturist Robbie Pendrich with some of the donated plants.
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Being able to get their green fingers on a range of plants and garden accessories is helping the skills of people at a learning disability day service to blossom.

All Saints Living will soon start re-developing a former garden centre site next to Newcastle Racecourse in Gosforth. But first, the company gave everything left behind to Hepscott Park horticultural skills unit, which for the past 31 years has been helping people with learning difficulties to experience the world of work.

This included sales benches and staging, a variety of shrubs and plants, pots and wooden animal figures.

Pam Robson, assistant manager at the Northumberland County Council-run venture that takes learners from Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth and Cramlington, among other places, said: “We are very grateful for this fantastic support, which comes at a perfect time with spring approaching.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us as we wish to expand our plant sales to the public. We will propagate and sell the plants in the shop, displaying them in the large variety of pots, while the wooden figures will enhance the woodland walk.”

Carl Martin, an estimator with All Saints Living, said the company immediately thought of the Hepscott Park unit when it saw how much horticultural material had been left behind at the site.

One of the learners, Richard Cook, said: “I like the big stones we were given. We are going to make a rockery garden with them and we can use the plant pots and the benches to sell more plants.”