New community garden plan is a great plot

DIGGING IN: Loree Wilson, second left, project lead for Make Your Way and Chris Convery, third left, project manager for Holder House Community Project, with volunteers revamping an allotment in Sunderland.
DIGGING IN: Loree Wilson, second left, project lead for Make Your Way and Chris Convery, third left, project manager for Holder House Community Project, with volunteers revamping an allotment in Sunderland.
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A DREAM to turn wasteland on Wearside into a community garden is receiving a helping hand from those with a passion for horticulture.

Green-fingered enthusiasts are hoping to transform a site in Prospect Row, Hendon, into a space where people who have come out of probation or been affected by mental health issues can learn gardening skills.

Loree Wilson has enlisted members of the Holder House Allotment Project – which provides a place for people in South Shields with learning and physical disabilities to go and learn new skills – to help turn the vision into reality.

The scheme has proved to be a hit with its members and the community. Loree said: “When we took the land on it was derelict. But with the help from members of Holder House Allotment Project we are starting to turn it round.

“The end result is to turn the land into a community garden, with fruit and vegetables and to give people skills which will hopefully help them back into work. “It will also help those who have mental health issues who need to be outdoors and need various different things in their life to do.”

Chris Convery, of the Holder House project, said: “We are working in partnership with the project, as well as giving advice, it is giving some of our members work experience.

“We are providing some of the man power and will be growing the plants at Holder House which will be used for the garden in Sunderland. It is a great opportunity for our members to put into practice the skills they have been learning in a new environment.”

The project has been made possible with funding from the European Social Fund.