THE POPULAR Link Nurseries in Powick welcomed VIP guests to celebrate a first birthday party against the odds after local NHS bosses threatened to shut the site down.
West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin joined the team from Bransford Trust and staff from Warwickshire College Group to mark the first year under new ownership.
Last year the NHS Worcestershire Health and Care Trust withdrew its staff and patients and moved patients to other sites in the county.
But Mrs Baldwin worked with the Bransford Trust and other local volunteers to try and find new supporters and met with Warwickshire College Group to ask it to commit to expanding its services on the site.
Courses have resumed at the nurseries including a Well Bean Gardening Club and other horticultural therapy courses.
The site also enefited from a make-over welcomed by users, helpers and residents who drop in to buy local produce.
Mrs Baldwin said: “Only a year on from the day the NHS pulled the plug, the Link Nurseries seems stronger than ever and has ambitious plans to offer more courses to local people.”
She said she was impressed with the way Colin Kinnear and the Bransford Trust stepped up and took over the site, Warwickshire College Group for grasping the opportunity to do more on-site and was pleased with the help offered by Malvern Hills District Council.
She has also written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirming her full support of this project.
“I hope this first birthday celebration is one of many to come.”
Colin Kinnear added the Bransford Trust was delighted to be involved in the development of the New Link over its first year.
“The work put in by the clients, volunteers and WCG has been inspiring and long may it continue.”