An allotment scheme which helps vulnerable people in the community has been nominated for a Best of Hartlepool Award.
Since it was set up in 2006, Waverley Terrace Community Allotment Scheme has continued to flourish – becoming a centre to help people make a contribution to the community and support their social development.
The idea behind the scheme came from an approach by mental health service users, who had carried out research into the benefits to health and wellbeing through being involved in horticulture.
The allotment, which is run by Hartlepool Borough Council, provides opportunities for people with physical and learning disabilities and mental health problems.
It grows fruit and vegetables which are distributed and sold in the community, with profits being ploughed back into the project.
This year, the Best of Hartlepool competition is being held in association with Niramax and in which Specsavers, Stagecoach North East and Hart Biologicals are category sponsors.
The service was nominated by members of the public who praised the way it helped members into mainstream employment through its links with Hartlepool College of Further Education.
The nomination comes at a time when the scheme celebrates a Big Lottery Funding grant of £400,000 to help develop the three-acre site as it looks to become a self- sufficient social enterprise.
Darran Hutchinson, team co-ordinator for child and adult provider services for Hartlepool Council, said he was delighted with the nomination.
He said: “We really appreciate the nomination. To think that people look at what we do and think it is beneficial is great. “We are now in the second phase of the site- to increase more community participation and to work alongside volunteers to help people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.”