Finding more space for our customers with learning disabilities to grow
Our residents and staff on the Isle of Wight celebrated the official opening of their additional garden on the grounds of Quarr Abbey last week. The Muddy Boots Gardening Group also took this as a chance to celebrate their successes since launching in 2011.
Over the years the Muddy Boots Gardening Group has transformed an overgrown area of land into a small social enterprise and provides the local café and farm shop with fresh fruit and vegetables they grow.
The community group was developed as an alternative space for our residents with learning disabilities who could no longer access other day services due to funding cuts. Following nearly eight years of success, being awarded the additional plot of land is a testament to the hard work of residents and staff who regularly maintain the gardens.
Mark Meredith, Community Partnerships and Project Manager South, explains how Muddy Boots started:
“I saw that there was a problem with the decline in day care services for our residents so started a project to find alternatives. I had heard that Quarr Abbey were looking for community organisations to approach them with ideas and that’s where it all began.”
Seeing the success of the Gardening Group the owners of Quarr Abbey decided to provide the group with additional land, which could cultivate even more fruit and veg for the local café and farm shop. Unfortunately, they found that there were problems for residents with restricted mobility who were unable to get around the garden safely.
Although the group were excited to take the land, it was clear that there would be issues for residents with restricted mobility around the garden. To ensure that residents could safely travel around the new garden Rajvinder Kaur, our Employment Skills and Development Officer approached DW Support Services, a contractor for the Group on the Isle of Wight who offered £6000 for new paths as part of their commitment to the Group.
Andrew Broadbent, from DW Support Services commented: “Muddy Boots is a fantastic example of a community coming together and we are delighted to be able to support this project. It was a pleasure to work and support Southern Housing Group and the Abbey.”
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