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Grow Project at Inverness Botanic Gardens and run by High Life Highland benefits from Wickes Community Programme donation to help meet the increase in demand


By Ian Duncan

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The Grow Project which has received a donation of products as part of the Wickes Community Programme.
The Grow Project which has received a donation of products as part of the Wickes Community Programme.

An Inverness project has received a donation of products as part of the Wickes Community Programme.

The Grow Project aims to support local groups and organisations by providing relevant products to help them with essential maintenance, renovation or complete new projects.

The initiative has been running for more than 20 years and has been created and maintained by around 25 adults with learning disabilities with the support from 30 community volunteers.

It is part of Inverness Botanic Gardens and run by High Life Highland – which supports culture, learning, sport and leisure throughout the Highlands.

The Grow Garden is open to the public and used by school groups. Grow-Gardeners grow vegetables on the plot and in polytunnels, tend fruit trees, garden for wildlife and the whole site has a strong ethos on environmental sustainability and gardening for health and well-being.

Gavin Skipper, horticultural trainer, said "We have a growing number of gardeners and as a consequence we often find ourselves short of tools that include garden shears, and equipment like trugs and wheelbarrows. We are also experimenting with vertical growing to enable us to be more productive and require trellis and arches to support the plants.

"Wickes Inverness store stepped in and gave us a generous product donation which has made all the difference to our gardeners and helps us in the day to day running of the project.

"We are hoping to introduce an outdoor cooking element to the garden and one of Wickes suppliers, Charles Bentley, has generously provided us with a fire bowl which we are looking forward to using. The plan is to prepare and use the produce grown on site for making soup and simple lunch dishes, once our produce is ready to harvest."

Stuart Watson, Wickes Inverness store manager said: “We’re passionate about our local community and when we heard about the Grow Project we were happy to help.

"This is such a great project that supports some very vulnerable people in our community. We were delighted to be able to supply them with gardening tools to meet the growing demand of adults taking part. We’d love to hear from more charities and local community groups to see if we can help improve their community space.”

Vanessa Richardson from Charles Bentley said: “We are pleased to support Wickes and their wider initiatives within the local communities and wish the project team the greatest success with the venture”

The Wickes Community Programme is open to all local community groups seeking help for improvement projects, and any groups interested in applying for a donation should pop into their local store to speak to the manager.

For more information, please call Stuart Wilson the Wickes Inverness store manager on 01463 717235 or pop in to the store.


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