Our latest initiative is a group of our youngsters, who we are so proud of.
They have created their own community group called the YES team . (Youth employment support). This group of young people work in the community to raise funds to give other youngsters a placement at GZ. They do presentations around West Yorkshire to community groups, schools/colleges, churches etc. etc. They promote their achievements, life changes and success. They try to help and inspire other young people who are in the same blackhole they were once in to take charge of their own lives, as they have.
All of us have been in the same situation and have felt the same way but with positive attitude and friendly people we became
We feel that we belong at the Growing Zone.
As time goes by, we find that all our groups get on so well together, regardless of their disability, its brill to see. We work alongside the community, individuals and corporates. We have some fantastic individuals who make donations to help us pay our bills.
While we were raising the money, we still had a lot of work to do on the garden, and as the user groups and individuals began to join us, the fun and the hard work started. We had tons of help from various businesses who did work days with us and brought GZ lots of goodies. So, in between showers of rain, gale force winds and semi boiling sun shine, we carried on regardless. The enthusiasm and laughter that went on in those days would have made us lots money, if we could have bottled it.
We made lots of nice friends, learned how to do all sorts of different things, drank gallons of tea and pop and ate more cakes than Sainsbury’s could sell in a week. Things are still the same now and when we go home at the end of each day, we look like we have just come down someone’s chimney, but wouldn't change a thing.
Progress to date.
The Growing Zone is constantly changing each year. What was once our wild life area is now a workshop area where woodwork and construction along with garden furniture is made. The dip pond is still in place and we now have a glass room for stargazing and a propagating shed along with a woodwork room and a storage shed.
We still have the bird boxes, bat boxes, hedgehog houses and information boards showing birds, insects and butterflies around the garden and we are in the process of building a bird hide behind the tea room. We have binoculars and cameras so the wild life can be watched safely from a distance in other areas of the garden.
GZ has a mini Africa which shows various animals from Africa and a water hole. Including the odd Polar bear and Penguin, but what the heck. We also have Jurassic park for the youngsters. In fact we have quite a few fun areas.
We have an orchard full of fruit trees which have been strategically placed and trained to provide shelter from the sun for our less able visitors who we lay on the grass while we work.
We have tons of seating areas round the garden and we make much use of them as we are always having parties and picnics. Any excuse for a brew and a bun.