£250k award for garden project

A COMMUNITY enterprise has been awarded nearly £250,000 to help people with learning disabilities.

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Fair Deal, based in Castlemilk, was one of nine Glasgow groups given a cash boost by the Big Lottery Fund in their latest round of grants.

The former Evening Times Community Champions will team up with kids' charity The Jeely Piece Club to develop community gardens at their play site in Machrie Drive.

Annmarie Docherty, chief executive of Fair Deal, said: "Today's funding is recognition of the importance of people with learning disabilities and the contribution they can make within society.

"The success of our application cements the approach that Fair Deal adopts and it is a celebration of hard work, over a number of years, from like-minded individuals who have all worked towards the same aim.

"Working in partnership is key to changing attitudes and widening opportunities for those with learning disabilities.

"We are absolutely delighted and would like to thank Big Lottery Fund Scotland for having confidence in us."

The new development will include a natural play zone, storage hut and a quiet garden, where young people will be able to pick up a range of green-fingered skills outdoors.

Youngsters will also work towards earning Caley Awards, gardening accolades from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Tracey Black, director of services at the Jeely Piece Club, said that staff were "over the moon" about the funding.

The new gardens and its facilities will be built outside the club's front door.

Tracey said: "It has been a long time coming, and it is good for everybody who has been involved.

"It is great for the whole area as it means we can engage with everybody in and around the centre."

Home and Garden

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