21 February 2013
St Mungo's has been awarded nearly £100,000 by the City of London Corporation's charity, City Bridge Trust, to help teach horticultural skills to homeless people in London. The training - part of the charity's Putting Down Roots programme (PDR) - will help boost employment prospects for homeless people in the horticultural sector.
The £99,430 funding will support 40 homeless clients to undertake a vocationally-focussed gardening programme and gain on the job experience tending a number of London's local gardens. PDR volunteers also grow produce at three allotment sites which is sold to local restaurants.
The award is part of a £2 million ‘Growing Localities' programme, including £1 million for horticultural training funded by City Bridge Trust. Each grant will inspire disadvantaged people to find apprenticeships and employment in horticulture - from urban bee keeping to growing organic food. Recognising the importance of London's green spaces for physical and mental wellbeing, the initiative promotes community involvement and volunteering in the local environment - reducing social isolation as well as teaching the value of biodiversity.
Rod Cullen, Skills and Employment Group Manager at St Mungo's, said:
"We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this City Bridge Trust grant to help us build on the success of Putting Down Roots. Many homeless people who volunteer with us have been unemployed for a long time. They want to work, but can lack the skills and confidence. We plan to employ a new gardening trainer who will work directly with them to help achieve their ambitions."
Commenting on the announcement, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, Billy Dove said:
"Horticulture is a nourishing and nurturing experience - both for plants and people. This grant, as part of the City of London Corporation's Growing Localities initiative, will help cultivate opportunities for disadvantaged Londoners by helping them find jobs in the horticultural industry."
Supporting the initiative, Monty Don, celebrity gardener, said:
"Growing our own food, raising beautiful plants and having a direct connection to the natural world is something that everyone, everywhere can benefit from in so many ways. I am delighted that the City of London is doing so much to promote and make this possible this for a wide range of people. This is our world and we all need to care for it so that we every one of us can enjoy it fully."
Notes to Editors
About the City of London Corporation and its charity the City Bridge Trust
The City of London Corporation has three roles: we support London's communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration and skills projects. Plus the City of London Corporation's charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of more than £15 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education, with three independent schools and three City Academies - plus a primary school and the world-renown Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons' in south London. And - with its heart in London's Square Mile - we also support and promote the ‘City' as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.