BASED in Shotton, Growing Places is one of Flintshire County Council’s mental health support services that supports people in a safe environment to be more confident and to develop work related skills and training.

On a recent visit, Cllr Aaron Shotton Flintshire County Council’s Leader, said: “It was great to visit and see first-hand the excellent work being done at Growing Places. The service is highly valued by team members and their families.

“This is yet another example of all the wonderful social care available in Flintshire that unfortunately is no longer available in other areas of the UK. I am proud that, in Flintshire, despite the national financial restraints placed upon us, we have continued to recognise the importance of accessible mental health services.”

The community gardening service in Rowleys Park, which also has an allotment and polytunnels which are used for growing and potting plants, has three full-time employees who support individuals to develop their skills in gardening maintenance, cultivation of flowers, plants and vegetables and administration tasks.

There is also a small amount of woodwork activity at various times of the year.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Cllr Christine Jones, continued: “It’s great to be able to visit such a wonderful facility. I am proud that Flintshire County Council continues to fund such important services for some of our most vulnerable residents. Being able to work in such a safe environment allows people to grow in confidence. As part of a team, they feel valued.

“At the same time, they are learning valuable skills and, as a thriving garden business, Growing Places provides a link with opportunities for volunteering and further education. It’s an invaluable stepping stone for individuals to grow in confidence, motivation and experience and ultimately to move on in their recovery.”

Jacqueline Vaughan-Thomas, Growing Places manager, said: “This is a wonderful resource – as well as our gardening service, we use the fruit and vegetables we grow to encourage healthy eating.

“We hold regular cooking sessions in the Growing Places kitchen where team members help to prepare the food and then sit down together and enjoy the meal in a social setting.”

For more information about the service, call 01244 831056 or email