Day centre nursery is ‘growing for gold’

editorial image

Adults with learning disabilities are “growing for gold” by helping to prepare plans for an “In Bloom” bid.

Students at Thistles day centre in Sutterton have been pouring some tender loving care into rosemary, thyme and lavender to help Boston improve on its silver Britain in Bloom award gained last year at the first attempt.

The theme for the this Boston’s In Bloom effort for 2013 is “edible”, so growers are also producing runner beans and sweetcorn.

Chard and sweet peas are also being grown to be planted out in and around Boston.

Thistles offers a safe and caring learning environment, but is close to being a real-life commercial horticultural nursery,

A core of 13 adults attend five days a week, joined by others at different times so there can be up to 30 people a day.

The students get hands-on experience of raising seedlings and caring for plants, as well as growing fruit and vegetables.

Numeracy and literacy is also built into the centre’s programme.

The nursery receives support from the local community and helps cover its costs by selling some of the produce it grows and by making up hanging baskets for customers.

Community support workers Liz Judge and Sue Corr said the centre’s adults gain hands-on experience and life skills, while at the same time producing something that is useful and in demand.

Liz said: “They absolutely love to be here together, as do we.

“When the sun shines, it’s not even really like work.”