Horticulture project for adults with learning disabilities set to bloom

The Wantage Market Garden Project at Charlton Day Centre in Charlton Village Road is the result of joint-working between the county council-run centre, charity Style Acre and Sustainable Wantage, a community action group.

Centre users can develop new skills by working in the garden, growing flowers and produce, which are then used in the onsite café and in the Style Acre tea room at Savages in Blewbury, near Didcot. The project has brought land around the centre back to full use.

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, will be joined at the opening from 1pm by Mayor of Wantage Councillor Fiona Roper.

An excellent facility

Councillor Heathcoat said: "The Wantage Market Garden Project is an excellent example of a scheme coming to life through organisations working together towards a common goal. I am sure people who use the centre will greatly benefit from working in the garden and developing new skills. I would like to congratulate everybody involved in the project."

Centre Manager Will Gardner said: "This project has bought the gardens back to life, in a way that has the widest possible benefits for people using our services and the community."

Mim Norvell, from Sustainable Wantage, said: "Our volunteers have thoroughly enjoyed helping on site, sharing skills and meeting new people. We will be using a section of the site for displaying different gardening methods and we are all really looking forward to seeing the garden develop in the months to come."

Rob Edmonds Seal, Director of Day Opportunities at Style Acre, said: “People we support have been preparing the horticultural site for some months now, supported by volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity for people with learning disability to develop skills which could lead to further work experience or even paid work.”