A HORTICULTURE therapy centre in Powick which provides vital services to its local community is now planning for the future after signing a new five-year lease.
Link Nurseries, which is part of college group WCG, has had its future secured after completing a lease agreement on its site in Hamilton Close.
WCG signed the lease with the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust to enable the valued centre to continue its work.
It has been five years since WCG first became involved – at that time the centre was facing closure – but it has since gone from strength to strength, including being nominated for a national award.
Link Nurseries is a community-focused horticultural centre providing therapeutic and vocational services and activities for people wishing to improve their mental and physical health, along with plant and produce sales.
It runs the Well Bean Gardening Club, which provides a tranquil space for gardeners to cultivate their own vegetables and flowers and develop new skills, a Mini Allotment Club, offering less structured sessions in which gardeners have their own plot for growing flowers and produce, as well as a Craft Club and an Art Club, where people are given the opportunity to develop their creative talents.
The community shop sells produce grown at the centre as well as locally-produced ice cream, eggs, vegetables, confectionery, seeds, starter plants for grow-your-own vegetables and a range of greeting cards.
After securing the new lease, the centre is now set to begin working on a number of new projects including developing an area of the site to expand its retail offering.
Phil Woodhead, manager at Link Nurseries, said: “It’s extremely exciting that we have secured a new five-year lease to enable us to continue delivering our horticultural therapy provision at Link Nurseries.
“Covid has had a significant impact on mental health and wellbeing, and we are seeing an increasing amount of demand as our services are required now more than ever.
“We provide people from across the community with a place where they can feel safe, valued, make new friends and learn new skills.
“We run a number of excellent clubs which are really valued by those who attend them, and our gardening and allotment clubs give people the chance to see produce develop right from seed to harvest before it is sold to the customer or the growers take it home for their own use.
“It’s taken five years of hard work from our fantastic team of staff and volunteers to get to where we are today, and it is wonderful to know that we can continue to look to the future and progress new projects, including developing a new area to further our retail sales.
“We welcome local people to visit us and enhance their gardens with our produce.”