Riverside (Skill Quest Trust Ltd)

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Please vote for us and help us win £50,000 to transform local peoples lives through training, employment, raising confidence, healthy eating, combating isolation and so much more.

Charity Skill Quest Trust, more familiar to local schools, colleges and employers as Solent EBP, are restoring a derelict and unused 3.16 acre garden centre to its former glory as a successful commercial Garden Centre.

The main difference is that it will run as a social enterprise, with people of all ages benefiting from work experience and volunteering opportunities, with vocational skills training and qualifications in horticulture, landscaping, construction, retailing, business and customer service. Workshops in turning produce into nutritious meals, employability skills and starting your own business are some of the activities proposed leading to apprenticeships and employment. The community garden will become a go-to destination, with people able to enjoy a cream tea in the tea-room, and families experiencing the sensory garden or safe play area. Local schools will have country walks to spot the wildlife with children learning about growing, cooking with and enjoying own-grown organic food.

Bishopstoke residents may recall that Riverside Community Gardens was once known as Ashtrim Garden Centre. Riverside is already providing training and work experience for students, young people who are not education or apprenticeships as well as unemployed adults from the local area. Many experience significant barriers to learning or securing employment and Riverside is helping them to gain skills and get ready for work. Riverside is playing a key role in supporting the most vulnerable and helping them to overcome loneliness and isolation – the community garden offers something for everyone who wants to be involved.

Already we have had significant support from local businesses who are keen for this enterprise to get off the ground. They have started the process of re-instating the garden centre by helping us to clear huge areas of wild overgrowth and cut down some of the bushes and trees. They have been digging trenches for power and water and restoring footpaths, a footbridge and some growing areas. But there is so much more to do!

The Peoples Millions grant will enable us to install a multi-skill classroom to increase the capacity of the training and qualifications. It will help us to create a go-to destination for families to enjoy the facilities at the community garden, which includes a tea-room, secure play area for children and a multi-sensory garden. Two more of the polytunnels will be reinstated and the raised bed area will be increased in order that more produce can be grown and sold in the on-site shop to help sustain the site.

“The impact the Community Garden is already having on our learners is remarkable”

Says Angela Wright CEO Skill Quest Trust

“I have referred five people to the Horticulture course that Solent EBP is running in Bishopstoke. I have had fantastic feedback from each customer, some of whom have really struggled to get motivated and enthusiastic about anything. Others have been claiming benefit for 3yrs+ and are happy to be keeping busy. I honestly feel that these customers are more likely to find employment now that they have motivation and can see that others are in the same boat as them”

Says Helen Work Coach | Department for Work and Pensions

How can you vote?

Watch Meridian Tonight on 25 November 2014 and vote for Riverside using the telephone numbers provided (each call will cost 15 pence).
Or on Tuesday 25 November purchase the Daily Mirror in which the telephone numbers will be printed.
Or on Tuesday 25 November revisit this webpage where the telephone numbers will be displayed.

At 15 pence per call, please vote for us as many times as you can (maximum 10 from each device)

Please contact us on 02380 725 725 or enquiries@skillquesttrust.org for more information.

Project messages

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Posted by Steve_Edmonds on 25 Nov 2014
Thank you to everyone who has shown their support - whatever the result, our staff, learners and supporters have been amazing and I am so proud to be associated with them. Let's keep our fingers crossed (even though that makes it hard to type!)
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Posted by LisaEBP on 03 Nov 2014
Voting for this project will enable us to continue to deliver positive learning, self esteem building
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Posted by razWORK on 03 Nov 2014
Please vote for us to enable us to improve the lives of many more through training, qualifications and future employment. Thanks for your support!
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Posted by Sangitapatel on 03 Nov 2014
Good Luck! I hope you WIN....
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Posted by jfuller on 03 Nov 2014
A great project - I hope it receives the support it requires!
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Registering and supporting us on this website does not count as voting. The voting phone number will be advertised here and in the Daily Mirror on the day. A short video about this project and the competing project will also be shown on the ITV regional news between 6.00pm and 6.30pm.

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Contact details


Systems House
Woodside Road

Website: http://www.skillquesttrust.org/

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