A GARDENING scheme which helps unemployed people get back to work has been visited by an MP.

Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, visited the Shaw Trust learning and skills charity which operates in the town which is appealing for more businesses to get involved.

The MP found out how the horticultural project on Bishopton Road, Stockton, helps both long-term unemployed people and disabled people gain work experience.

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Mr Cunningham said: “I hope that I can work with Shaw Trust to promote the work they do but more importantly, encourage local businesses and organisations to commission work from them and buy their excellent goods.

"I filled the boot of my car with some great value plants and I’m sure gardeners and organisations alike could benefit from buying their goods and helping to sustain and develop our local enterprise.”

Shaw Trust Enterprises North East gives gardening support to local households, schools, housing associations and hospitals, providing garden maintenance, clearances and landscaping. It also offers disadvantaged locals the chance to undertake a 12-week training programme towards a Level 1 City & Guilds Practical Horticultural Skills certification.

Shaw Trust Enterprises North East is appealing for more businesses and households to sign up to receive its services.

The project was also visited by Stockton Borough Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Beall, as Shaw Trust chief executive, Roy O’Shaughnessy.

Find out more by calling 01642-670731 or email gardening-northeast@shaw-trust.org.uk. Alternatively, you can visit http://www.shaw-trust.org.uk/shops-enterprises/social-enterprises/st-enterprises-north-east.