ALL is rosy in the garden for a South Tyneside charity which is reaping the rewards of a lottery cash boost.
South Tyneside Positive Activities, a youth group based in Galsworthy Road, South Shields, has secured £9,212 from the Big Lottery Fund to put green fingers to work growing plants and flowers, which will be offered to elderly residents to brighten up their gardens.
The charity will use the cash to allow young people, aged from 11 to 25, to hone their horticultural skills in order to add a splash of colour to their community.
The volunteers will put up hanging baskets and offer a helping hand to older people who may have trouble keeping on top of their garden chores.
The positive activities team offer support to young people from deprived areas of South Tyneside, providing them with volunteering opportunities to boost their self-esteem and improve the area they live.
Activities lined up by the charity include litter picking, climbing and helping out the Friends of South Marine Park.
Cheryl Spamer, project co-ordinator at South Tyneside Positive Activities, said: “This funding means we will be able to teach the young people how to grow flowers and plants at our allotment to brighten up the local area.
“Our young volunteers will learn new skills so they will be able to help older or frail residents maintain their gardens, weeding, pruning, clipping and helping them plant hanging baskets in their front gardens. We have so many good kids around here. We’ve held litter picking events – on one occasion 28 young people turned up in the pouring rain to help.
“They’ve also helped remove dumped shopping trolleys. By helping out older people, we hope to bridge a gap between the generations and show just how community-spirited many of the young people are in our area.”
Big Lottery Fund spokesman Tessa Wiley said: “It seems to be taking its time to warm up this year, but with spring officially here, it’s great to announce a project that will utilise the goodwill of many young volunteers, which often goes unrecognised, to help out their older neighbours in their gardens by tidying up and planting flowers.
South Tyneside struck lucky with the lottery, with a number of groups winning vital funding.
“All of our small Awards For All grants will make a huge difference to thousands of people across the North East.”
Bamburgh School, based in Horsley Hill, which supports children with mental and emotional conditions, has received a £10,000 grant to install outdoor gym equipment in its grounds. This will allow pupils to enjoy extra physical activity, as well as weekly fitness sessions for their families and the wider community.
Equipment will include a chest press, bicycle, cross trainer, double air walker, hip surfer and leg press.
Talbot Road Methodist Church, in South Shields, will also benefit from lottery funding of £8,000. The money will be used to upgrade heating at the venue, to ensure it continues to be accessible for use by community groups.
West Harton Allotment Holders Association will use its £9,800 grant to install a compost toilet with full disabled access.