Servite Housing Association and Tayside-based charity Helm Training have joined forces, with the support of a number of local and Scottish charitable trusts, to launch a new plant nursery social enterprise. It will help young people (not in education, employment or other training) gain some horticulture skills. The plant nursery, aptly named ‘Helm’s Herbaceous’, will start producing plants this year from two poly-tunnels on a grassy area in one of Servite’s many sheltered housing scheme in the city.
Young people learn work skills, budgeting, gardening skills and experience achievement. Their efforts go towards earning SQA and First Aid qualifications. Tenants benefit from contact with young people, opportunities to hear their concerns and learn about their lives. Tenants also benefit from home-grown produce used in the communal kitchen to provide meals.
“Helm was looking for a piece of land to cultivate and it made sense to work together. Our tenants were very keen on the proposals and we see this as a win-win opportunity. Young people will receive valuable training and our tenants will benefit from fresh produce and also become involved as the project progresses. We look forward to seeing the project start in earnest. There is, of course, the added benefit of generations understanding each other better”. Julie Cosgrove, Servite’s CE.
The plant nursery project forms part of the LIVE IT! Project offered by Helm Training to young people aged 15-18. There is training in cooking, first aid, beauty and complementary therapy. This year, as well as the plant nursery, there will be a new training crèche and a training garage. The vocational experience should help young people move on into sustainable work or further education.