A GARDENING project for youngsters which is being tried out at a West Shields allotment site, is blossoming into a huge success.
Young people were, for the first time, invited to take part in Saturday morning sessions at Holder House Allotments, last year.
Now the gardening scheme, in Whiteleas, South Shields, is welcoming a new intake of youngsters to learn more about horticulture and animals.
The plot which houses a range of polytunnels growing various plants, a vegetable patch, a cabin used as a classroom and a chicken coop, had been used exclusively by adults with learning difficulties.
But now, more young carers and their siblings are being given access to the site.
Holder House project manager Chris Convery said: “It started off as a pilot project, and the young people who came to the site loved it. We decided to make it permanent.
“We have had dozens of young carers and their sisters and brothers coming to the garden since the project first started.
“It has grown into such a success, better than we could have ever imagined. Now we are welcoming new faces to the project.”
Funding for the scheme is coming from money designed to pay for young carers to get involved in community projects.
Already, the young people, aged between five and 18, have taken part in arts and crafts sessions, feeding and cleaning out the chicken coops, and, for Mother’s Day. planted seeds which were then given as gifts to their mums.
More recently, the Saturday morning club has joined forces with South Tyneside Inclusive Health Activities based at Chuter Ede to give youngsters the chance to take part in various sports led by coaches Chris Thompson and Carl Ebanks.
The Saturday morning club was launched after Helen Duffy, a direct payments manager with South Tyneside Council, joined forces with Mr Convery.