Shields community digs in at allotments

Residents in South Shields are celebrating after receiving funding for a communal allotment.

Councillors approved the application for funding as they regard the scheme to be important for vulnerable groups of people.

The grant will allow those with learning difficulties to become involved with growing and harvesting fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Land designated for the allotment is presently owned by the John Wright Centre which caters for those with learning difficulties.

Until now vulnerable people have been volunteering to do gardening for the elderly but it is now possible that the volunteers can increase their skills.

"When the request for funding came before us at the forum, we knew straight away what a worthwhile project this was," councillor Ernest Gibson told the Shields Gazette.

Last year South Tyneside council provided a £5,000 grant so land could be converted into a garden allowing pensioners to grow and sell their own fruit and vegetables.