The country’s biggest housebuilder Barratt Developments has announced a £500,000 donation to St Mungo’s, to help the homelessness charity expand its innovative gardening programme, Putting Down Roots.
Putting Down Roots currently provides vocational horticulture training for people experiencing homelessness in London and Bristol, supporting their recovery by improving wellbeing and developing vital skills for employment.
Students are supported by Garden Trainers to develop skills in a variety of garden techniques at a range of settings across the two cities, including public parks, community gardens and allotments.
Learning new skills and taking pride in their accomplishments helps people improve their self-confidence, and gardening can have a real therapeutic benefit for those experiencing mental health or substance use issues. Students can also choose to work towards an accredited Level 1 OCN (Open College Network) qualification in Horticulture Skills, which can be a springboard into employment.
Barratt Developments’ donation will support St Mungo’s ambitious three year plan to grow the scheme to reach more people nationally and increase opportunities for trainees to move into employment.
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Barratt Developments to grow our Putting Down Roots programme. For someone who is recovering from homelessness, having a roof over their head is often just the first step. Many will be facing challenges of poor mental and physical health, or struggling to find routes into employment.
“Putting Down Roots helps people build confidence and improve their wellbeing through gardening, while gaining vital transferable skills to help them unlock their potential and realise their aspirations.
“The generosity of Barratt Developments will help us achieve our ambition to support more people across the country to rebuild their lives through the Putting Down Roots programme.”
David Thomas, Chief Executive of Barratt Developments plc, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting St Mungo’s work to help people recover from homelessness through the Putting Down Roots programme. The scheme is already showing how learning gardening skills can boost wellbeing and help people into employment through its projects in London and Bristol. As the country’s largest housebuilder we are committed to creating a positive legacy and our proud to play our part in helping St Mungo’s grow this important programme.”
For further information:
St Mungo’s: Gemma Hollingshead or Raffy Hamid on email@example.com
Barratt Developments: Derek Harris on firstname.lastname@example.org
About St Mungo’s
St Mungo’s is one of the UK’s leading homelessness charities and exists to end homelessness and rebuild lives. Each night the charity provides housing and support to 2,800 people across London and the South and helps thousands of others with advice, health, skills and work and learning services.
About Putting Down Roots
St Mungo’s Putting Down Roots programme is an entirely voluntarily funded, innovative, award-winning gardening project providing vocational horticulture training to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness as a means to support recovery and develop skills for recovery. As well as building their confidence and improving their well-being, students are supported by Garden Trainers to develop skills in a variety of gardening techniques, and can work towards a Level 1 OCN qualification in horticulture skills. In 2018, Putting Down Roots worked with 71 clients in London and Bristol.
About Barratt Developments
Barratt Developments plc sold 17,579 homes in the year to June 2018, making it the biggest housebuilder by volume in Britain. Over the past six years Barratt Group has increased its housing output by 40% – building more of the homes the country needs. Barratt is committed to building quality homes and this year received more NHBC Pride in the Job awards than any other Housebuilder for 15 years in a row and retained its HBF 5 star rating for customer satisfaction for 10 years in a row. For more information visit www.barrattdevelopments.co.uk
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