Cardiff Third Sector Council ’s (C3SC) facilitation of Move More, Eat Well grant funding, has helped to revitalise V21’s Gardening @ Fairwater project  in Cardiff since the pandemic.

Based within Vision 21’s (V21) Sbectrwm community centre, Fairwater, the project was created to give people with learning disabilities opportunities to find their potential through gardening.

The funding has allowed new staff members and more inclusive spaces for more people to enjoy new learning opportunities. New attractions added to the garden include a stage, polytunnel, wildlife garden and pond, and a café seating area.

Rachael Walker, V21 Marketing & Communications Manager said: “Over the years the garden has been maintained to a standard, however, after the pandemic we realised the importance of having an accessible community space for the centre.

“We are truly grateful for the funding and the possibilities it has created for the project. It has enabled us to bring our ideas to life and take the garden into a better direction.”

V21 was set up in 1986 and has since grown from one project to over 10. Based in V21’s Sbectrwm Centre, the gardening project is run by Vision 21 Cyfle Cymru.

V21 trainees help with tasks such as garden maintenance, pruning, mowing, watering, weeding, ground prep and taking care of raised beds and vegetables, through the project.

“Our V21 trainees benefit from the project, not only does it provide a form of keeping fit and being amongst nature, but also it’s an opportunity for the trainees to socialise with peers who also have learning disabilities and wider visitors at the Sbectrwm centre,” Rachael added.

Dan, Trainee at V21 said: “I joined the Gardening @ Fairwater project because I enjoy gardening; I garden a lot at home and I like being outdoors doing hard work. It has given me a confidence boost to do more for myself, as well as enabling me to build my teamwork skills. It is nice that a space has been created for people to visit and socialise together.”

Beth Cartwright, Gardening Project Leader at V21 said: “I have seen that providing a better space for the trainees to use gives them a sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of the day.

“The long-term strategy for the garden project is to enable complete open access to the public. This will be extended to school groups and volunteers to benefit their wellbeing.”

To find out more or refer someone you know to a V21 project, please click here.