Article taken from The Hartlepool Mail-Saturday January 3rd 2015
A DISABLED community project is hoping to expand – if a lottery cash bid is successful.
The Waverley Terrace Allotment Project was set up by the Waverley Allotment Group (WAG) in 2007 by adults with a range of mental, social and physical disabilities.
The group works from land in the Rift House area of Hartlepool cultivating fruit and vegetables, refurbishing furniture, and creating seasonal items such as Christmas wreaths, providing therapeutic and employment support for its members
Hartlepool Borough Council officers believes the project can grow into a financially-sustainable enterprise if it was granted Big Lottery cash to help provide a dedicated business co-ordinator and a volunteer co-ordinator.
A number of meetings has led to the Big Lottery Fund welcoming an application for cash from the council on behalf of the project, in a bid to do just that.
A report on the application is set to be discussed at a meeting of the Adult Services Committee on Monday, December 5, at 10am.
The report states: “On behalf of the WAG, the council has now completed a Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Application to support the development of the Promoting Change, Transforming Lives Project.
“The project will provide a safe environment whereby service users who are unlikely or unable to engage in employment can still lead positive lives and be involved in horticulture which will help them with life skills, raise their aspirations and prevent social isolation.
“The site will provide work experience, placements, and high quality training for service users to develop relevant employability skills to assist them to progress into sustained employment.
“They will be supported by dedicated employment link workers who will help users identify their chosen career options and link them to local employers.
“A business plan and feasibility study has already been produced, which shows how the project can realistically be self-sustainable within five years as long as initial BIG Lottery funding can be secured to fund a business co-ordinator and volunteer co-ordinator within this time frame. The business plan provides a comprehensive action plan and, when implemented, will enable the business to be viable and grow.”