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Company supports community project


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A BUSINESS has proved to be a Godsend to a community project struggling to complete a greenhouse which will provide therapeutic work experience for people suffering from isolation.

The Your Sutton Community Project published an appeal on social media which was picked up by eagle-eyed staff at Tates of Sussex, a firm which operates three garden centres in the county.

As the project’s Kevin Plicio explained, the aim was to transform a derelict plant tunnel into an indoor garden, providing a peaceful seating area while offering hands-on work experience.

He said: “We are a tiny, unfunded operation. Everything we grow is used to plant up 16 community garden plots that we have planned to showcase community achievement.

“Some 30 local volunteers, with differing backgrounds and abilities, support the work.

“They help us to provide an inclusive horticulture community project and therapeutic activities to those who might otherwise, for whatever circumstances, find themselves isolated or struggling to integrate with the wider community.”

Sarah Mead from South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks said: “We were delighted to answer the cri de coeur and make available the necessary glass panes for this most worthwhile and innovative project to create work-based learning opportunities in a community plant nursery.”

The work so far has earned a joint first place in the recent Sutton In Bloom best Community Garden competition. It was recognition that, after seven years, the work of the project is starting to be actively supported by local companies and organisations.

Mr Plicio said: “The donation of glass panes by South Downs Nurseries has been a Godsend and allowed us to transform our community space.

“Thank you so much for helping to make a very big difference at our project.”

tates is a long-established company.

Records show the Tate family has lived and worked in Sussex since 1601.

In 1982 horticulturist Jonathan Tate joined the family business and started establishing a plant nursery in mid Sussex, spreading and promoting unusual plants for sale to members of the public.

Inspired by the new concept of garden centres, where people could visit and purchase everything they needed for their garden from one place, he set about developing what is now Tates of Sussex Garden Centres.

The garden centres are at Paradise Park in Newhaven, South Downs Nurseries at Hassocks and Mayberry Garden Centre in Portslade.

Source: The Argus