The National Lottery Community Fund has donated £125,000 to Sunderland Home Grown C.I.C., in Southwick, to help the group expand its services for people with disabilities, learning difficulties and those experiencing mental ill health.
The centre offers a variety of seasonal workshops, horticultural training, and social enterprise opportunities where participants learn to grow and nurture plants, which are later supplied to its garden centre for members of the public to buy.
Following the pandemic the group created a programme designed to build confidence, improve emotional wellbeing and individual’s personal development, skills and training.
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The funding will help to create 70 new training places and 18 work placements for disabled people and adults with learning disabilities, engage 500 local residents through its horticultural work, build a community table and introduce new activities around sustainability.
Gary Hillery, Manager and Director at Sunderland Home Grown C.I.C, said: “This funding, thanks to National Lottery players, has made a huge difference to the continued development of the project.
"We have continued to add different courses and experiences on offer to the community through support from The National Lottery Community Fund.”
Duncan Nicholson, Head of Funding for the North East and Cumbria at The National Lottery Community Fund added: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this vital funding will have a huge impact on people’s lives across Sunderland.
"Our funding plays a big role in helping communities to unleash their potential and it is great to see groups like Sunderland Home Grown making a positive difference and continuing to support their communities to thrive.”