Ongo has launched the Growing and Learning project to offer volunteering opportunities for job seekers and encourage Ongo Homes tenants to grow their own produce.
In four months since it has been up and running, 12 volunteers have worked on the project to gain skills, confidence and experience to support them in finding employment, three of them have now secured full time paid employment. The project, run by the Employment Support Team at Ongo, covers North Lincolnshire, with allotments and growing projects in Scunthorpe and Barton.
Professional horticulturist, John Cavill has been employed to manage the project and work with volunteers and families to teach them about growing fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers.
John Cavill, project manager, said: “This project has been really successful so far. It’s great seeing the volunteers grow in confidence with the more they learn.
“One of our volunteers, Dwain has shown just how important projects like this are for people trying to get back into work. He had been unemployed for a long time and struggling to find a job, so he started volunteering in all the projects with me. He has learnt so much in 4 months and continues to enjoy the structure and routine he now has since volunteering.
“For anyone looking to get back into work, but might not have all the skills needed, I would highly recommend getting in touch with Ongo to see what volunteering and training opportunities there are out there.”
This project has been funded by Ongo and will run for two years.
In the last 12 months, the Employment Support Team at Ongo has supported 210 into employment or training.