Disabled volunteers with a keen interest in gardening could soon be honing their skills in a ground-breaking, custom-built ‘super shed’ at the Pioneering Care Partnership Centre in Newton Aycliffe. The bespoke timber building has been specially designed to enable people in wheelchairs to access space where they can learn the finer points of preparing seeds, potting and planting under the watchful eye of a green-fingered tutor. But, everything now hinges on the kindness of well-wishers donating the estimated £1000 still needed for the build as well as ‘Super Shed’ Appeal at PCP for Wheelchair Gardeners materials and equipment so that work can start on the foundations.

Members of the local Greenfield Men’s Cree group have already offered to build the new shed which, say Centre staff, will make ‘a tremendous difference’ for would-be gardeners in wheelchairs. Gardening horticulture tutor Howard Leslie (pictured in the PCP greenhouse with volunteer David Cockburn) said this week: “We already have a small but very dilapidated shed in the gardens at the Centre but there is no way in which anyone in a wheelchair can get into it.

The new shed will make an enormous difference to the volunteers – especially those currently restricted in the work they can do in the garden. It will also enable them to keep gardening in all weathers.” The PCP Centre already boasts a well-developed and sizable garden with raised beds and a greenhouse where volunteers of all ages and abilities grow flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables – some of which are subsequently sold to the public. Donations to the Shed appeal can be made by cheque to the Pioneering Care Partnership Carers Way, Newton aycliffe, Co. Durham DL5 4SF or in person at PCP Reception for cash or card donations.