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Successful open day at the Good Lives Growing Project leads to regular monthly events

After the success of the last open day in July 2022, the Good Lives project has decided to host a monthly event with different themes and local sponsors. The project will be opening its doors again on August 31, from 10am to 2pm. Transport will again be provided to the site for free. This open day will be sponsored by local engineering solutions specialist firm and BECBC member, Forth.

More than 70 people turned up to find out how to get involved in this initiative to give people vital skills and improve their health and well-being.

Ahead of the open day, volunteers from local businesses and Home To Work learners have been busy turning the land into a nursery, complete with raised beds for produce to be planted up. The produce will then be used by the charity as ingredients to help learners develop their skills to cook healthy meals.

Karen Jones, managing director of Home to Work, said: “The open day was an amazing success. We had far more people attending and saying they would like to get involved in Good Lives than I had ever dreamed of. We’ve had offers of everything from polytunnels to plants.

“Good Lives is such a wonderful initiative, it really seems to have resonated with people who can see both the immediate benefits, and the long-lasting, sustainable difference it will make to people’s lives across the community.

“It wouldn’t have even got off the ground without the help and support of so many people and we are really grateful to BEC and everyone else who has helped us to reach this point.

“Now people have visited the site the true scale and potential of what could be achieved here is starting to dawn.

“Good Lives has the potential to make a positive impact in so many ways for people who are struggling right across our community.

“Taking part in the activity of preparing the site, cultivating the land, planting, tending to the crops and harvesting the produce provides therapeutic support for those who need it.

“It will help people develop their skills and boost their self-confidence and self-worth, as well as providing exercise in the outdoor environment.

“There’s the feeling of being valued which comes from taking part in a community project like this which brings its own benefits to individuals involved

“It’s also providing healthy fresh food for those who need it, helping the health and well-being of those who are really struggling to afford the basics in life.

“We will be using our kitchen at our base in Cleator Moor to help people develop their cooking skills and give them the opportunity to make healthy meals which they can then recreate in their own homes. And it’s doing all this in an environmentally friendly way,” said Karen.

Jacobs and its team have donated time and materials to help the drainage of the land and Haverigg Prison inmates have helped with the land, digging out pathways and beds to help prepare the site.

West Coast Composting donated soil, Careys donated wood for the raised beds, and KAEFER is funding connecting water supplies to the site.

Karen added: “The list of supporters is growing all the time and each and every one of them makes a big difference.”

Joe Martin of BEC, said: “It’s fantastic to see the way Good Lives is growing and the potential it has to be a lifechanging initiative across our community.

“BEC is delighted to have helped plant the initial seed by loaning the land, and we hope other businesses and organisations will continue to come forward to help maximise the potential of this exciting project. We are looking forward to seeing the garden grow and provide the support to those in our communities who need it most.

Why don't you come along on the 31st and find out what it is all about for yourself?