A DAY service for adults with learning disabilities has been awarded a community project grant towards improving facilities at their garden site.

The Gaunless Gateway Big Local Partnership, a charity based in Bishop Auckland, has awarded £3,000 to Growing Together, a non-profit facility for adults with learning disabilities based in West Auckland.

The application was presented to the charity by Diane Wood, who has volunteered at the Growing Together facility for about three years.

The Gaunless Big Local Partnership aims to make a positive and lasting difference to communities of West Bishop Auckland, including Cockton Hill, Henknowle, Woodhouse Close/Tindale Crescent, St Helens Auckland and West Auckland, some of the most deprived wards in County Durham.

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The grant will go towards improvements of the services community garden project in Tindale Crescent and their allotment on Woodhouse Close, Bishop Auckland, improving safety measures to enable more people to get involved in maintaining the community orchard and vegetable plot.

The Growing Together facility are hoping this will help individuals under their care to acquire skills such as growing and cooking fresh vegetables whilst helping to strengthen friendships in the process.

The grant has allowed contractor Dave Gaskins and wood supplier Simon Smith, from West Auckland, to begin developments on the site.

Workers from Smurfit Kappa, West Auckland, have also been on site to help with the development of the allotment.

Growing Together directors Samantha Tucker, Sarah Tucker, Andrew Green and Natalie Green are dedicated to promoting the independence and wellbeing of the adults under their care.

Samantha Tucker said of the grant: “We are over the moon. We are very thankful and can’t believe how quickly the Gaunless Gateway Big Local Partnership came to their decision.

“Our community allotment is now developing into a safe and enjoyable outside space which allows our service users to have great access to healthy, outdoor activities.

“The ground near the allotment was unsteady meaning it was too dangerous for some of the people under our care.

“The grant has meant we have been able to make the area safer and tidier.”