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Better Lives Wins the Holywood Award

Fri, 28th Jan 2022

Better Lives Partnership has won The Holywood Trust’s Peer Award, as voted for by organisations supported by the Trust, and received a cheque for £7,500 towards a community garden in Castle Douglas.

Better Lives Partnership has been nominated for The Holywood Trust’s Peer Award for the work it does with Autistic young people across three sites in Dumfries and Galloway and to help create a Community Garden for its Stewartry site at the Castle Douglas Community Centre. Since moving to their new offices and workroom at the Community Centre in the Spring of 2021 the young people in Castle Douglas have no longer had a green area to participate in gardening, growing vegetables and a quiet outdoor space to enjoy.

It is the aim of Better Lives Partnership to create a Community Garden at the community centre that is accessible to disadvantaged members of the community. For Autistic people, community spaces are not generally accessible to their needs, while the community garden led by BLP aims to be inclusive. BLP will use the garden in their Foodwise and Environmental ASDAN accredited short courses to enable the young people to carry out practical learning.

The garden is planned to include wheelchair access and raised beds which will enable easy access for individuals with additional needs.  There will be a sensory herb area, which will be tended to by BLP’s young people and used in their cooking sessions, and community groups, such as Toddlers and Golden Day Club, who use the Community Centre may take on a raised bed thus giving a social space and inclusive area for all to enjoy growing food and tending the garden.

In response to winning the award Carolyn Kennedy, Chief Executive of Better Lives Partnership, says:

A big ‘thank you’ to the Trustees at Holywood Trust who continue to support Better Lives Partnership and the work we do with autistic young people across Dumfries and Galloway.  The creation of a ‘Community’ garden at our Bridge to Employment (B2E) site in Castle Douglas will allow our young people to develop their environmental work, have a quiet sensory area and meet and network with other members of the community who will use the facility as well.  Within the community centre, several groups already meet there – Toddlers, Golden Day Club and the Activity and Resource Centre.  Through this project, we will all be able to enjoy the great outdoors and have an inclusive meeting space.

A cheque presentation took place on Friday 21st January with Karen Ward Boyd, Director of the Holywood Trust. Regarding BLP’s Community Garden project she said:

“The Holywood Trust Award is open to third sector organisations which have received a grant from the Trust during the year. Organisations are invited to self-nominate and write a short description of how it would spend an award of £7,500; peer organisations vote for the one they feel is most deserving. This year we had a draw for first place and decided to give both organisations an award of £7,500 to provide support and activity for young people in the region. Better Lives Partnership and Let’s Get Sporty are both examples of excellent third-sector organisations and their value is demonstrated through their peer organisations’ voting. Well done to both organisations and I look forward to seeing the benefits of these awards.”

The other organisation winner of the 2021 Holywood Award was Lets Get Sporty.

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