Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, attended an awards ceremony hosted by Shaw Trust at the charity’s horticultural social enterprise project in Clamp Hill, Stanmore. During the visit, Mr Blackman presented the project’s service users with certificates recognising their achievements and the progress they have made to gain key skills for the job market.
40 year-old Lee Emery from Willesden was one of the clients recognised by the MP. Lee is an ex-offender who endured long periods of homelessness and struggled with addiction. Lee was referred to Shaw Trust to overcome the barriers he faced to gain new skills and find work. The Trust recognised Lee’s potential as a gardener and enrolled him on a horticultural training course. Having successfully completed his training, Lee was presented with a City and Guilds certificate during the awards ceremony.
Mr Blackman used the visit to witness first-hand the work of staff at the horticultural project that support service users to gain new skills and find long-term employment.
The Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Ajay Maru, Deputy Leader of Harrow Council, Councillor Keith Ferry and Ward Councillors, Pritesh Patel and Stephen Greek, also took part in the awards ceremony. Harrow Council is one of several financial backers who support the project. Mr Blackman and all the local dignitaries were given a tour of the social enterprise. They were impressed by the range of training opportunities offered to disabled and disadvantaged people from Harrow. Staff and service users work together to provide grounds maintenance and sell quality produce to the local community.
Mr Blackman also praised volunteers from the local area who have supported the social enterprise and have helped to improve service users’ skills.
Lee Emery, who gained his horticultural qualification through Shaw Trust, said: “My time with Shaw Trust has been fantastic. I have learned so much, gaining invaluable experience and skills that will change my life for the better. Thanks to Shaw Trust, I am now well equipped to find work, provide for myself and take control of my life.”
Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East, adds: “Shaw Trust has developed a ground-breaking horticultural project that helps disabled and disadvantaged members of the local community to embark on truly fulfilling careers. We need more local businesses and organisations to partner with the charity’s social enterprise so that more people from Harrow can be offered support and training for future careers.”