Midlothian gardening project continues to grow

Mr & Mrs Tuddenham from Cousland with the 'Growing Gardeners' who tidied their garden for free.' Sam Hill (Trainee Lead Gardener) is on the left and Adam Kelly (Assistant Gardener) is on the right
Mr & Mrs Tuddenham from Cousland with the 'Growing Gardeners' who tidied their garden for free.' Sam Hill (Trainee Lead Gardener) is on the left and Adam Kelly (Assistant Gardener) is on the right

A gardening scheme aimed at giving Midlothian school pupils a work placement has received the funding required to be extended.

The initial work placement scheme is due to end this week and has resulted in local people with a mental or physical disability having their gardens tended to for free.

Mayfield and Easthouses Y2K project Growing Gardeners, formerly Midlothian Gardening Services, has carried out the work thanks to a £98,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund.

Thomas Campbell from the social enterprise revealed just how keen the pupils from Newbattle and Dalkeith High Schools were.

He said: “Some of the young people were coming in to do work outside of their allotted times. Which shows their commitment to the project.

“The placements were strictly doing free take-ups but when it is extended they will be doing pretty much everything we offer.

“It’s a kick-start for young people. We have had staff here in the past that have went on to better things. It’s the first step into a career for them.

“The new funding will come in August, with the project running until March.

“The young people involved were on a six week work placement coming in once a week. Now they will be in a couple of times a week for a couple of months, depending on how the school can work it into the timetable.”

The pupils received on the job training while they spruced up 21 Midlothian gardens during their six-week work experience placement, with the final four more gardens due to be completed this week. The project will continue thanks to funding from Midlothian Training Services.

Mr and Mrs Tuddenham from Cousland were just two of the happy customers to benefit from the scheme. Mr Tuddenham said: “The young lads were very polite, industrious and carried out the strenuous tasks professionally. We were delighted to receive their assistance. Many thanks to Growing Gardeners.”

The youngsters who took part will be issued with a certificate, and a reference for their CVs once they leave High School.