Added on 17 June 2010

A new recycling project named The Green Shed has been given the go-ahead at Castle Gardens in Sherborne, Dorset. The new project will enable local people with learning difficulties to continue their work and further develop community recycling projects, including plant pot recycling, wood recycling, compost making and veggie growing.

The Green Shed project will be based in an existing shed at the garden centre and, once the shed has been upgraded, it will provide recycling facilities for the group of young people and adults from The Whitehouse Resource Centre, which is due to close later in 2010.

Mike Burks, MD of Castle Gardens explains: "For a long time we have worked closely with the fantastic team at The Whitehouse Centre and when we learnt that the Centre was closing we looked at ways we could continue the relationship. We had a space which we knew could be used; we have the recycling work here at the Garden Centre and we just needed to have some financial help to make the project happen. We applied to Chalk + Cheese, our local funding body which delivers the Local Action for Rural Communities programme, and when we presented to the Local Action Group we had unanimous support for the project."

Siobhán Davis, Community Coordinator (Learning Disabilities Service) Sherborne, comments: "This is a good example of how working together can have positive results. We are all looking forward to working together with different agencies, businesses and local organisations to make a difference."

Little explanation is needed as to why the project has been named The Green Shed!

The new project will involve -

• Recycling broken pallets, supplied free of charge to the project. The 'rescued' wood will be turned into growing boxes and kindling, which will be sold at the Garden Centre - the funds will go back into the project.

• Recycling plant pots returned to the Garden Centre by customers - the pots will be washed in harvested rainwater, then re-used in the nursery, or given to local schools and community groups.

• Making compost - the team at The Green Shed will be shown how to make good compost from green waste generated at the Garden Centre and this will then be used to fill the growing boxes so that veggies can be grown and sold, or given to local groups such as a drop-in centre cafés.

• Planting raised beds, using The Green Shed compost and growing salads and herbs for local chefs.

Sarah Watson on behalf of Chalk + Cheese added: "We are absolutely delighted to have been able to support this brilliant project and supply the much needed funding to ensure everyone's good work continues. It was great to have our first 'Fast Track' project go through the system and demonstrate that getting your project funded doesn't have to be hard work. The Local Action Group is really looking forward to having the chance to support other projects just like this one."

Ros Urwin, Head Occupational Therapist, (Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust) at The Whitehouse Resource Centre, comments: "This is a great example of how - by offering service users activities outside of the confines of a day centre - opportunities for them can really blossom. In this instance, they have already made additional plans to plant up a 'Sherborne in Bloom' flowerbed, due to their new links with the Garden Centre, and they will be ably assisted by a dedicated community support worker. The clients have ideas about how they would like to take forward woodwork and are being supported by their personal workers, some of whom have worked with them daily for many years, to develop other work and leisure opportunities in their local community."

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