Disability Support South Tyneside

Mayor of South Shields

Councillor John Anglin has paid tribute to the achievements of a group of people with learning difficulties

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor John Anglin has paid tribute to the achievements of a group of people with learning difficulties in a special awards evening.

Around 30 people attended the celebration evening at South Shields Town Hall where they were presented with certificates by the Mayor, Councillor John Anglin.

The Mayor presenting certificates to the group who have completed Northern Learning courses, also pictured is the Mayoress, Chris Anglin.

Each one had completed a course in subjects ranging from cookery and communication to digital photography, teambuilding and horticulture.
The majority of the courses, delivered by Northern Learning, were carried out at Holder House Allotments in South Shields, where the group has helped to transform a plot of land into a learning facility.

The Mayor said: “Just talking to everyone who has been involved in the project – it’s just incredible what they have been telling me, what they have learned at the site and what they’ve been making and planting.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic, and the commitment they have shown is second to none. They are a credit not only to themselves but also to their parents. I was honoured to present them with their certificates.”

The Holder House Community Garden allotment is a site where horticulture enthusiasts with learning disabilities can enjoy their hobby, learn new skills and meet new friends.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Chairman of the Select Committee Children and Young People, Independent and Healthy Lives, has supported the community project from the beginning.

He said: “The people who have attended the project have really grown over the years and have accomplished so much. I would like to congratulate them on their massive achievement.”

Caption: The Mayor hands a certificate to Clinton Sewell, one of the group who have completed Northern Learning courses, many of them held at Holder House Community Garden. Also pictured is the Mayoress, Chris Anglin.

News and press releases
16 Oct2008
Praise For Community Garden
Press release

Councillors have praised a scheme which involves community groups in looking after a local garden.
Members of the Select Committee Children and Young People and Independent and Healthy Lives received a report on the work of the Holder House Community Garden Project at their last meeting.
The garden, in Whiteleas, is maintained by local schoolchildren, older people, people with learning and physical disabilities and people with mental health problems.
Chair of the Committee, Councillor Ernest Gibson, said: “This is a great project involving people of all ages, and members were impressed with the work going on there. The beauty of the scheme is that it has so many positives. It enables us to provide training for local people, giving them valuable work experience and the confidence to access employment.
“Then there’s the food-growing side, which provides supported work for the mental health and disability groups involved whilst allowing us to promote healthy eating. Local schoolchildren come along to join in and can learn all sorts of important environmental lessons. Older people can benefit too because gardening is a good form of exercise. There are composting facilities, and the project makes use of recycled materials, which all helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
“This is a true community project, and I’m delighted to say that it has been a real success story.”

News and press releases
18 Oct2010
High Praise For Allotment Project
Press release

South Tyneside Council Chief Executive Martin Swales and Councillor Ernest Gibson visit the Holder House Allotment Project where service users put the finishing touches to their new stone watched by Chris Convery, Day Centre Officer.
A community gardening scheme helping to boost the confidence of people with learning disabilities has earned high praise from a South Tyneside Council chief.
Martin Swales, Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, visited Holder House Allotments in South Shields to see the good work going on at the site after hearing positive stories about the project.
The Holder House Allotment Project was set up in 2008 with the help of funding from the West Shields Community Area Forum. Since then, its members – who all have learning disabilities – have worked to turn the plot of land into a community garden and learning facility to be proud of.
The 44 service users, supported by Day Centre Officer Chris Convery, have taken part in various courses at the allotment site, helping them to improve their gardening skills as well as receive certificates for their achievements.
Martin said: “It was the first time I had visited the site. What strikes me about it is, for South Tyneside to be an area of success, we have to deliver and build strong communities and neighbourhoods with complete integration. And what we see here is the best of that.
“Individuals with a passion have set about creating something for others to enjoy and learn from. In learning and training, this is potentially providing people with the first steps to do something else, whether it’s confidence building or employment.
“It is great to see. Everyone looks happy and seems very passionate about what they are doing. It also looks, and has, a very positive atmosphere about it. It’s been well thought out and put together and everyone seems to want to contribute to its future.”
Martin’s visit was organised by Councillor Ernest Gibson, Chairman of the Select Committee for Children and Young People and Independent and Health Lives and Whiteleas ward member.
Councillor Gibson said: “Holder House Community Garden is an allotment site where horticulture enthusiasts with learning disabilities can enjoy their hobby, while learning new skills and meeting new people. I’ve followed their journey from the very beginning and it’s incredible what they have accomplished.
“It is an excellent community project which brings about so many benefits, from enabling us to provide training for local people to promoting healthy eating. Of course it’s the people working on the site who have made it the success it is. Long may it continue.”
One of the most recent activities at the site saw project members building a 19m wall with help from Duncan Naylor from Northern Training Company.
Service user Haider Wynne said: “We had to put the foundation in and put down stones. It was hard work, but we learned how to build a wall with cement.”
Caption: South Tyneside Council Chief Executive Martin Swales and Councillor Ernest Gibson visit the Holder House Allotment Project where service users Haider Wynne, Alan Clarke and Paul Butters put the finishing touches to their new stone watched by Day Centre Officer at Holder House Allotment, Chris Convery.

News and press releases
13 Jul2009
Allotment Plot Is Blossoming
Press release

Councillor Ernest Gibson (centre) pictured at Holder House allotments with Day Centre Officer, Chris Connolly, service users Paul Butters, Michael Rylance and Clinton Sewell.
An allotment plot created for keen gardeners with learning disabilities is blossoming into a big success.
For more than a year, up to 20 people have regularly attended the site at Holder House allotments in South Shields.
Led by Chris Connolly – a day centre officer in West Walpole Street – the group has worked hard to turn the plot of land into an area that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Now, with more funding from Awards For All, Social Enterprise Investment Fund and Your Fund, it is hoped the site will be further developed with a shower and toilet facility.
Organisers are also looking to revamp paving around the plot to enable those with physical disabilities a chance to join in the fun. It is hoped families and the community will also play a part in the site.
Mr Connolly said: “The garden has been well received by everyone and people want to be here. The funding means we are hoping to turn the plot into a place accessible to everyone, and eventually for schools to come down and have their own projects.
“We have been going since June last year and we have just been developing from then. Plans are also in place for a wood workshop – we just have all sorts of plans for the place which are only as big as our imaginations.”
Members of the Select Committee Children and Young People, Independent and Healthy Lives recently enjoyed a tour of the allotments.
Chairman of the Committee, Councillor Ernest Gibson, said: “This is an excellent project and one we fully support. It is a great addition to the community and the people who have worked on the site should be applauded for their effort and their dedication in making this scheme such a success.
“The scheme has so many positives, from enabling us to provide training for local people to promoting healthy eating.”
The group would like to thank Timberline for supplying the sheds for the site.
Caption: Councillor Ernest Gibson (centre) is pictured at Holder House allotments with Day Centre Officer, Chris Connolly, and service users Paul Butters, Michael Rylance and Clinton Sewell.


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