A charity is celebrating a near £27,000 gift to help its work across south east Northumberland.
Blyth Star Enterprises received £26,789 from the Asda Blyth store at Cowpen Road in recognition of the outstanding work it does.
The organisation operates a number of social care services to support over 300 people who suffer with serious, long-term mental ill health and learning disabilities.
Blyth Star Enterprises is helping to improve the quality of life for its service users within their own communities through the provision of day services, work experience training programmes, life coaching and supported accommodation.
The money has been put towards a van, a grass cutter and a range of other electric and manual gardening tools to be utilised by the mobile gardening team, as well as a large garden workshop and a poly tunnel at the Stakeford Nurseries.
Gordon Moore, chief executive at Blyth Star Enterprises, said: “The grant will enable us to make considerable improvements to the Stakeford Nurseries.
“One of Blyth Star Enterprises’ primary aims is to break down barriers and help bridge the gap between our service users and their local communities.
“One of the ways we have achieved this is through our Horticultural Project. The Project aims to increase social inclusion, community participation, skill acquisition and future employability for people with mental ill health and/or learning disabilities.”
“As part of our project, we grow and sell produce back to the local community from a dedicated retail unit and we also provide a mobile gardening service to elderly and disabled residents.
“At the moment, our mobile gardening service benefits around 100 households across South East Northumberland, but demand far outstrips supply, which is why we are looking to establish a secondary mobile gardening team in the new year using the funds donated by the Asda Foundation.
“This money will help us to reach more people in the community who are perhaps not as able to attend to these duties as often as they would like while at the same time, provide our service users with invaluable work experience.
“It’s difficult to put into words just how beneficial it is to work with and be supported by local businesses such as Asda.”
Blyth Star Enterprises first heard about the Asda Foundation through the Charity Commission online, but were encouraged to apply for funding by one of its staff, Jade McDonald, who has a connection with Asda’s Blyth superstore through a friendship with the store’s community champion, Diane Dinning.
Julie Ward, Asda Foundation manager, said: “We see the Foundation as one of the many ways to give something back to the communities that support us. That’s why we lend a hand to the wide range of good causes with which our colleagues are involved, sharing their passion and helping to make a difference through a variety of projects across the UK.
“Supporting smaller, local applications such as Blyth Star Enterprises is really important to us – and we hope it will make a real difference within the local community in Blyth.”
To find out more about Blyth Star Enterprises, visit www.blythstar.org.uk