Sunderland garden project under threat due to lack of funding

Loree Wilson, front right, from the DIY Garden Project,with service users and carers at the allotment, where funding is running out.
Loree Wilson, front right, from the DIY Garden Project,with service users and carers at the allotment, where funding is running out.
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A gardening project helping Sunderland’s most vulnerable people is under threat due to a lack of funds.

Loree Wilson launched the DIY garden project at Prospect Row, in Hendon, 12 months ago.

We don’t like to think about this place closing.

Loree Wilson

It was set up to provide a place where people who have been affected by mental health issues can learn gardening skills.

Since then, the site, which was once derelict land, regularly attracts about 20 people a week.

Together, they have worked to transform the land into an allotment plot, which now has raised beds and grows vegetables.

However, the site could be under threat as its funding, which came from the European Social Fund, is fast running out.

It costs about £8,000 a year to run the project.

Mrs Wilson said: “Right from the start we started to receive referrals to take on people who would otherwise not leave their home.

“Initially, there were to have a four to six- week placement, but we found they kept coming back as they were gaining so much from being here. As well as helping to boost their confidence, being here and taking part in activities, it also gives them a sense of achievement.

“We don’t like to think about this place closing, but we will not be able to sustain it as it is, without funding. We are starting to struggle now.”

The project is also on the lookout for donations of materials, including top soil and gardening equipment, as the current tools they are working with – which were donated second hand – are becoming old.

Anyone who would like to help can contact Loree Wilson on 07540272051 or email loree@makeyourway.org.uk