THE Greenfingers project has been established within Basingstoke Mencap for more than three years and provides a horticultural therapy service and woodwork development training on site.

This provides opportunities to develop skills and self-confidence to individuals with learning difficulties or mental health issues.

The project offers a peaceful therapy setting or a possible gateway into voluntary or paid employment.

The site is based within a large allotment offering an in-house training program in many aspects of basic horticulture; utilising the vegetable and fruit gardens, plant nursery, flower beds, polytunnel, herb garden and sensory garden.

The project also makes and retails wooden garden ornamental items using a woodshop and craft shed which offers interested attendees’ skills within a carpentry and paint finish setting. Project leaders encourage creativity and welcome new ideas, input and feedback.

The project welcomes volunteers from the local community and further afield to support the site and gain experience.

Several open days are held throughout the year, selling plants, vegetable produce or boxes and wooden garden items, offering refreshments, a raffle and fun activities.

The cause is supported by the mayoral charity funding for the year 2018/19 and holds fundraising events for development projects on site.

It has welcomed sponsorship from Brain Chase & Coles Solicitors; Rivar, Sands & Gravel Landscape Centre; the Basingstoke B&Q store and several other charities in the past year and welcomes support from company charitable teams.

Greenfingers Community Gardening offers a weekly maintenance and hedge trimming service, one-off garden clearances and removal of cuttings. Its trained gardeners work in a team of two and offer competitive rates.

The scheme aims to primarily support the over 65s and people with disabilities, however we provide the service to all in need maintaining several community garden projects.