A mental health charity has helped with an environmental makeover of the landscape around Northumberland’s largest port.
Blyth Star Enterprises’ Stakeford Nurseries service users have been busy with planting trees and shrubs at the Port of Blyth’s South Harbour, thanks to a new landscaping maintenance contract.
A contract forming part of the work which the mental health charity has carried out, thanks to their, ‘Next Steps’ project, provides users, who have taken part in a horticultural training programme at Stakeford Nurseries, with experience in community-based volunteer environments.
“Blyth Star Enterprises has worked closely alongside the Port of Blyth for a number of years,” said Dan Hedley, horticultural services manager at Stakeford Nurseries.
“For our service users, getting out into the local community to deliver projects like the one at the Port is really important as it helps them to develop their social and interpersonal skills, as well as provide them with a new outlet for what they have learned through the course of their training.
In the past, we have helped to carry out general maintenance work around the Port of Blyth but this is the first, larger-scale landscaping project we have been involved with. The staff and service users thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we hope that this will be the first project of many.”
Tom Chaplin, PR and communications manager at Port of Blyth, said:
“The Port of Blyth has been an integral part of Blyth town’s history for hundreds of years, which is something we are very proud of.
Supporting the community is really important to us and we like to ensure that we support local businesses as much as possible in our activities.
The work carried out to help provide people living with learning disabilities and mental health issues with real work experience is fantastic and we value the services they provide to the Port.”
Blyth Star Enterprises supports over 350 people living with severe and enduring mental ill health and or learning disabilities.
As part of its unique pathway to independent living, the charity operates two social enterprises, The Woodfuel Centre and Stakeford Nurseries, which provide service users with real-life work experience in a sheltered environment where they can be supervised and cared for.
To find out more about the mental health charity Blyth Star Enterprises, visit www.blythstar.org.uk.