Sep 23 2011 by John Woods, Irvine Herald
ELDERLY Irvine residents have been able to enjoy the benefits of sitting out in their gardens thanks to the efforts of a big-hearted group of youngsters.
The green-fingered garden gang dedicated four weeks of their summer to transforming the gardens of 10 elderly people living in the town as part of the innovative ENABLE Scotland Inspire Me project, which supports young people who have a learning disability.
The group worked in partnership with Impact Arts, ANCHO Homes and Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and, as a result of their efforts, the residents, who were unable to carry out their own gardening, have been out enjoying their newly revamped gardens and are clearly delighted with the work of the young people.
“It was more than I expected an I’m absolutely delighted,” said one elderly lady.
“They did a grand job, I couldn't believe it – what a difference it makes.”
One of the youngsters who took part in the project said: “It was good because it was active and there was always something to keep us busy, it felt like a proper job.
“It was nice to help folk with their gardens and they were so pleased with the results.”
Inspire Me was launched in July 2011 and aims to support 20,000 young people who have a learning disability across the UK.
It was set up by ENABLE Scotland and sister charity Mencap and is funded by The Co-operative Charity of the Year. Young people who have a learning disability are twice as likely not to be engaged in education, employment or training as those without and the Inspire Me project provides activities and training that will give young people who have a learning disability the chance to learn new skills and build their confidence.
For more details about Inspire Me or to refer a young person, visit www.enable.org.uk or call ENABLE Direct on 0300 0200 101.