Young people at Nightsafe have been developing green fingers during the lockdown period – as the charity launches its ‘Here We Grow’ project.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, young people who live in Nightsafe supported housing projects were faced with a number of new challenges. Many young people who are in education or training found their courses suspended with colleges and other training providers closing. Young people also had a lot more time on their hands and could only go out to exercise once a day.

During this time, Nightsafe had the opportunity to take part in a number of projects that involved growing plants and vegetables – and the ‘Here We Grow’ project was born.

Supported by Gavin Redhead, an amateur gardener who had in the past worked closely with Nightsafe as Participation Officer for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the young people took part a sunflower growing competition for Heart Failure Week organised by Pumping Marvellous.

Nightsafe supporters have backed the ‘Here We Grow’ project by donating sunflower and vegetable seeds, along with pots, portable greenhouses and gardening tools after an appeal on social media. These have been distributed across the housing projects.

Staff have been supporting young people and encouraging them to get involved in the project during lockdown. Everyone has enjoyed spending time outside planting lettuce, spring onions, radish, potato’s and a variety of herbs, watering and looking after the seedlings.

“I have really enjoyed taking part in the gardening. It’s good to be outside and good for my mental health. I am looking forward to being able to cook with some of these vegetables once they’ve grown!” Young person at Nightsafe

Wayne Bowman, Nightsafe’s LEAP Coordinator, said: “Being outside with nature is so important for your mental health and this project has been especially important for our young people.

“Our young people continue to look after the plants on a daily basis and are keen to see which housing project can grow the biggest sunflower.

“Many of our young people who have been involved in this project will also go on to achieve AQA accredited qualifications through Nightsafe and Centrepoint’s Lifewise scheme.”

Without the help of our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

Thank you to all our #NightsafeHeroes.

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