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Free gardening training will give young people useful skills – Isle of Wight

It might not feel that spring is just around the corner but gardeners are ordering their seeds, potatoes, and planning what other crops to grow. There will be many who do not have a growing space of their own who will be feeling a bit envious. Others will feel that do not have the basic skills needed to gown their own food.

Help is at hand from The Footprint Trust’s Adopt-A-Garden scheme. Thanks to funding from the Santander Foundation would-be gardeners can now take advantage of free “Can you Dig it?” training, plus a free local growing space to practice their new skills.

“There is a shortage of allotments on the IW but we have a database of dozens of gardens in most towns that need ‘adopting’”, explains Ray Harrington-Vail of the local charity, “the free training is to take place in Newport on two Saturdays in March 2013 – just before the planting season starts. Spaces are limited so people must ring up or email to get a free place….”

The Adopt-A-Garden scheme was launched on the Island in 2008 and has been featured on local and national radio, in the gardening press. To date over 100 people have been matched. All those taking part have a free CRB (police check) to keep everyone safe.

“Gardening is a great way of getting fit and reducing food costs by growing your own…it is something that young families can all get involved with – but they do need the basic skills to be able to achieve this…”

“Thanks to funding from the Santander Foundation free training, primarily for young people, can be provided to give basic gardening skills – everyone else is welcomed too. It is hoped that those trained will then go on to ‘adopt’ and elderly neighbour’s garden and then share the produce.”

The cost of running the Adopt-Garden project relies on individual donations plus the Trust’s mobile phone and broken jewellery recycling schemes. To find out more about the scheme visit the dedicated website; www.adopt-a-garden.co.uk or phone/text on (01983) 822282 or email don@footprint-trust.co.uk

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