Made in Northumberland

Northumberland County Council runs eight day centres helping more than 170 adults with learning disabilities to acquire new skills.

Northumberland County Council runs eight day centres helping more than 170 adults with learning disabilities to acquire new skills.

These include learning to grow plants, make jewellery, ceramics, cakes and reclaim/sell old furniture. Products are marketed as ‘Made in Northumberland’, with any money made reinvested in this service.

We provide vulnerable adults with a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and develop confidence and self-esteem while preparing them for future employment or voluntary work. Wherever possible, activities are delivered in the local community, making it easier for people to attend on a regular basis.
The Aln Valley Railway aims to reopen a heritage railway between the east coast main line near the seaside town of Alnmouth and the historic town of Alnwick.

The Lionheart station at Alnwick is operational and offers short train rides in the summer season; some of them steam-hauled. Here, the Aln Valley railway is recreating a railway in the style of a London and North Eastern Railway branch line in the closing years of the steam era, with a collection of historic rolling stock and associated artefacts.

Lionheart station includes a small museum, railway shop, loco shed and The Buffet Stop Café, operated by Pottergate Pantry, an external catering operation providing invaluable training for adults with special needs. The café is open from 11am until 3.30pm every day that trains are running.

The railway is operational on Sundays between Easter and September, plus Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends during the school summer holidays. This year, there will be classic car rallies, vintage machinery days, model railway displays and musical events, as well as several themed children’s events and enthusiast days.

Plenty of parking is available along with a sheltered outside sitting area with picnic tables and chairs.

The railway is an on-going project and an ambitious development programme of track-laying is in progress, with a view to reaching Alnmouth by 2020, when steam-hauled trains will once again run the full length of the line, for the first time since the 1960s.

Currently under construction is a new station complex that will feature platforms, waiting rooms, a footbridge, a signal box and steam age paraphernalia. The engine shed and workshop are open to allow visitors to see the restoration work in progress on vintage carriages and locomotives.

We look forward to welcoming visitors.
The Northstar centre is situated in the north of Berwick in Castlegate and is located near shops and local facilities that are easily accessed on foot. The building is on one level and is easily accessible.

The rooms consist of:
  • kitchen
  • computer suite
  • large dining room
  • sensory room
  • sessional room
  • offices
  • accessible bathroom
There is also an extra room outside in which the two businesses that Northstar have are situated. There is also a large area outside that we hope to develop as a sensory garden, as well as an area where clients can meet and work outside.

Clients who access Northstar need to be referred by Northumbria Health Care Trust’s care management team. Our clients are adults with learning disabilities, including clients with sensory and physical disabilities.

There is a keyworker system at Northstar, where each person has a named member of staff to who they can approach in confidence, and who will assist the clients on a day-to-day basis, helping to ensure each person is represented properly within the service, assisting with individual choices, such as their timetables and the activities that they would like to be involved in.

All clients have an individual care plan that reflects their own particular needs and have two reviews per year in conjunction with care management, other professionals, carers and parents.

We have a policy to hire out our rooms to different groups within the local community.

The Northstar Centre

At Northstar, we have developed a very successful jewellery business that is consistently building up a growing client base. Our jewellery is sold via various outlets, including: 
  • The Maltings
  • Aln Valley Railway shop
  • Hepscott Park café
The jewellery created is catered towards all ages and tastes, and the group are constantly looking at how to expand their range.
Another successful venture Northstar has developed is a printing and photography business. Clients are encouraged to take photographs of local views and places, and then develop the photographs which are mounted or reduced in size and put into keyrings and fridge magnets.

The business can be bespoke, and the group have received a number of orders from local organisations. You can find these items in local outlets that include:
  • The Maltings
  • Aln Valley Railway shop
  • Hepscott Park café
Northstar Print is becoming more popular and building up an extremely good customer base.
Way up North is a well-established group of performers who produce an annual production that is performed to an audience.

They have produced a number of productions including ‘songs from the movies’ and ‘Grease’.

This is an extremely popular performing arts group, showing great dedication, commitment and professionalism.
  • sensory sessions
  • physiotherapy and exercises
  • newsletter
  • Way up North
  • Northstar Jewellery
  • Northstar Print
  • recycling with the Salvation Army
  • The Shindiggers drumming group
  • therapeutic music
  • pamper sessions
  • computer sessions
  • Northumberland Echo and the leading group
The Northstar team consists of:
  • clerk
  • care workers
  • care supervisors
  • drivers
  • passenger assistants
  • assistant manager
  • service manager
All staff are trained in statutory/mandatory courses, as required by the policies of Northumberland County Council. Each role has specific training in NVQ/QCF or the equivalent.

At the Northstar Centre, we aim to facilitate a variety of social, educational, therapeutic and employment opportunities for each individual. Our aim is to enable clients to broaden their life experiences and individual choices, as well as encouraging them to be a part of the community that they live in, through using local facilities that are available.

The Northstar Centre incorporates the service principles of privacy, dignity, respect, choice, independence and fulfilment. These are the basis in which we develop and implement our aims and objectives.
Stephanie Stafford - service manager
Email: Stephanie.Stafford@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01289 305105

Jean Brooke - assistant unit manager
Email: Jean.Brooke@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01289 305105

Opening times

Monday – Thursday (9am – 4.30pm)
Friday – (9am - 4pm)
Places available – 35
 

Charges

transport - £1 per journey
meals – £2.50 per meal
The Mowbray Day Centre provides level access to all areas, and has changing facilities and other adaptations/equipment to assist staff in supporting individuals in their personal care needs.

The service aims to provide people with learning and physical disabilities, a safe supportive environment to socialise, relax and learn new skills. It also aims to promote a positive presence for individuals in the local community, as well as maximising people’s potential, enhance the individual’s quality of life and promote independence.

The service operates a keyworker system, ensuring there is an identified worker responsible for liaising with each service user and their family/carers. Keyworkers support service users in making the best of their day service and in any difficulties individuals may encounter.

They also assist the individual to plan their person centred reviews. The support each individual receives is summarised and set out in their individual care plan, which is updated in accordance with the individual changing needs and reviewed as part of the person centred review.

A person-centred review focuses on the person’s strengths and talents. It enables people who are important to an individual to get together to work in partnership, to support them in things that are important for them, and to look at what they need from the service. It provides an opportunity to discuss what’s going well and what isn’t, and to plan/agree actions to help make things better.
  • 40 day care places
  • large dining room
  •  internet access
  • garden area with seating and polytunnels
  • craft room
  • large common room with easy chairs, TV, DVD and Wii
  • accessible toilet and wet room with hoists
  • multi-sensory rooms fitted with specialist equipment
  • music room
  • life skills kitchen
  • kitchen for artisan bread production
The centre strives to offer a welcoming, relaxing environment that meets the needs of the individual by providing therapeutic recreational and work activities. Each individual has their own weekly timetable that takes into account their interests and choices.
Activity sessions take place both in the centre and within the local community.

Individuals are supported to participate and contribute to their fullest ability, enjoying new experiences and learning new skills.

Below is a list of activity sessions we offer:
  • music therapy, communicating through music interaction and song
  • arts and craft sessions to explore creative talents
  • sound beam sessions that make use of interactive technology to assist individuals in their artistic expression
  • bag book sessions interactive story telling
  • dance group, expression through music and dance
  • life skills sessions, encouraging cookery skill for daily life
  • the community access group plans and arranges trips out to places of interest
  • gardening within the grounds of the centre
  • sensory relaxation
  • new age curling
  • ten pin bowling
  • Wii fit and armchair exercises
Social enterprises provide opportunity to develop new skills in association with the running of a craft bakery. This activity provides an opportunity to work as part of a team, taking pride in the quality of the things which are made, and aims to involve the clients in the wider business life of the community.
Our team consists of:
  • service manager
  • assistant manager
  • care supervisors
  • care workers
  • admin staff
  • kitchen staff
All staff members receive support via regular supervisions and an annual performance appraisal. Each staff member is given the training to enable them to provide a professional service. Staff members are required to have a minimum NVQ II in health and social are, or equivalent, and are provided with up to date training in the following:
  • first aid
  • moving and transferring
  • protection of vulnerable adults
  • fire awareness
  • basic food hygiene
  • infection prevention and control
  • non-abusive, psychological and physical intervention
  • equality and diversity
Staff receive this training to ensure they understand and are sensitive and attentive to the needs of their clients, respecting the rights and diversity of each individual.
Mr Peter Douglas – manager
Email: peter.douglas@northumberland.gov.uk

Mrs Alison Sloane – assistant manager
Email: alison.sloane@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01670 536230

Opening times

Monday - Thursday (8.30am - 4pm)
Friday (8.30am - 3.30pm) 

Address

Mowbray Day Centre
Stakeford Lane,
Choppington,
Northumberland,
NE62 5HQ.
​Blyth Riverside Resource Centre aims to provide people with learning and physical disabilities a safe, supportive environment to socialise, relax and learn new skills and aims to promote a positive presence for individuals in the local community. It also aims to maximise people’s potential, enhance the individual’s quality of life and promote independence.

Keyworkers support service users in making the best of their day service and in any difficulties individuals may encounter. Ensuring there is an identified worker responsible for liaising with each service user and their family/carers. Keyworkers assist the individual to plan their person centred reviews. 

The support each individual receives is summarised and set out in their individual care plan, which is updated in accordance with the individual changing needs and reviewed as part of the person-centred review. A person-centred review focuses on the person’s strengths and talents. It enables people who are important to an individual to get together to work in partnership, to support them in things that are important for them, and to look at what they need from the service. It provides an opportunity to discuss what’s going well and what isn’t, and to plan/agree actions to help make things better.

A person-centred review focuses on the person’s strengths and talents. It enables people who are important to an individual to get together to work in partnership, to support them in things that are important for them, and to look at what they need from the service. It provides an opportunity to discuss what’s going well and what isn’t, and to plan/agree actions to help make things better.

 

Blyth Riverside Resource centre provides level access to all areas, with changing facilities, other adaptations and equipment to assist staff in supporting individuals in their personal care needs. We offer 40 day care places. 
  • large dining room
  • computer room and internet access
  • garden area
  • large craft room
  • music room
  • large common room with easy chairs, TV, DVD and Wii
  • Accessible toilet and wet room with hoists
  • multi-sensory rooms fitted with specialist equipment
  • life skills kitchen
  • small common room with TV and DVD
  • ball pool in own room
  • allotment with large shed, running water and toilet
  • social enterprise workshops for soap and pottery production
Blyth riverside resource centre offers a welcoming, relaxing environment that meets the needs of the individual by providing therapeutic, recreational and work activities. Each individual has their own weekly timetable, taking their interests and choices into account.

Activity sessions take place both in the centre and within the local community. Individuals are supported to participate and contribute to their fullest ability, enjoying new experiences and learning new skills.

Below is a list of activity sessions we offer:
  • art and music therapy, enabling the individual to explore their creative talents
  • music group, helping the individual to express themselves through dance, playing instruments and singing on Karaoke.
  • life skills sessions encourage new skill for daily life
  • community access group plans and arranges trips out to places of interest
  • gardening
  • arts and crafts
  • baking and cooking
  • games and puzzles
  • sensory relaxation 
  • beauty group
  • Wii fit and armchair exercises
  • host Gateway - social group Wednesday evenings 
  • social enterprises group

Sensory room, Magic Carpet with Eye Gaze

Available to hire £10 per hour, contact us to book your free introductory trial session. Can be used by group or individual (fees are for hire of room). Subject to availability.

Sensory Room

Specifically designed to develop and stimulate client's senses, through special lighting, music, and objects. 

Magic Carpet

Is a app-based interactive projection system that can be used by all ages and abilities. Participants simply move over the projected application to interact with the content. Play hundreds of games to interact with the content. Play hundreds of games and interactive puzzles. 

Eye Gaze

Used in conjunction with Magic Carpet, allows clients that are non verbal and non movement to join in the fun.
First trial session is required to set this to your requirements. 

It is inclusive by allowing interaction between clients who lack movement and those more able.

Promotes choice and communication for clients who are non verbal and lack movement.

 

Riverside Social Enterprises

Riverside Social Enterprises provides the opportunity to develop new skills in association with the running of two craft studio workshops in soap making and mug production. These activities provide an opportunity to work as part of a team, taking pride in the high quality of the finished handmade soaps or decorated mugs and aims to involve the clients in the wider business life. Opportunities to engage with the community by visit stockists, delivering stock, attended trade fairs or sell at fairs & coffee mornings. with any money made reinvested back into this community service.

Mugs

Riverside produce bespoke fine bone china mugs for business and corporate promotions, are able to produce small quantities at an affordable prices.

Microwave and dishwasher safe
Ceramic colours are considered to be UV proof, so should not fade
Individual packaged in box
Bone china mug - delicate, fragile appearance, but extremely durable
 

Handmade soap

Handmade Soap 100g bars, individually wrapped, labelled and tagged with Made in Northumberland. All products are Sodium Laureth Sulphate free. Suitable for Vegans & Vegetarians. Shaped soap, wedding favours and small travel soap are also available on request. Fragrances available are 
White Musk
Jasmine
Dewberry
Coconut
Sea Breeze
Strawberry
Cherry
Oatmeal Milk & Honey

To Order
download the order form and send it to Blyth Riverside Resource centre

web-wholesale-info
-Blyth-Riverside-Resource-Centre_1



 

Events 2018

Events - Riverside Mugs & Soaps
Event Date
Blyth Riverside Resource Centre Christmas Fair Wednesday 21 November 2018
Hepcott Park Summer Fair Wednesday 25 July 2018
Elsdon Avenue Church Fair, Seaton Delaval Saturday 9 September 2018


Stockists

Sell in the following locations
Handmade Soap Lavendar Tearooms, Etal
Mugs Alnwick Gardens shop
Mugs Aln Valley Railway
Mugs Coquetdale Squirrel Group
Mugs Alwinton Summer Concerts

Riverside are always looking for new opportunities, to wholesale or direct selling handmade soaps & mugs in retail outlets, B&B, and events throughout Northumberland.  Any opportunity to work with new people and challenge the clients.
 
Our team consists of:
  • unit manager
  • assistant manager
  • care supervisors
  • care workers
  • admin staff
  • kitchen staff
  • ceramic technician
All staff members receive support via regular supervisions and an annual performance appraisal. Each staff member is given the training to enable them to provide a professional service. Staff members are required to have a minimum NVQ II in health and social are, or equivalent, and are provided with up to date training in the following:
  • first aid
  • moving and transferring
  • protection of vulnerable adults
  • fire awareness
  • basic food hygiene
  • infection prevention and control
  • non-abusive, psychological and physical intervention
  • equality and diversity
Staff receive this training to ensure they understand and are sensitive and attentive to the needs of their clients, respecting the rights and diversity of each individual.
To email the centre:
blythriversideresoucecentre@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01670 353276

To enquire about Riverside Social Enterprise
riverside.enterprise@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01670 356858

Blyth Riverside Resource Centre
Coniston Road
Blyth Riverside Business Park
Blyth
Northumberland
NE24 4RQ

Telephone: 01670 353276
Opening times
  • Monday - Thursday (9am - 4.30pm)
  • Friday (9am - 4pm)
The Tynedale Centre is situated on the outskirts of Hexham, close to the River Tyne. We have a large, user-friendly building with accessible bathrooms and provide lunch and refreshments in our spacious and sunny dining room.

We are a 35-place day care centre that supports adults with learning disabilities and we offer service users 
individual timetables, where they have chosen the activities they would like to do.


We also operate a keyworker system where each person has a named member of staff, who they can approach in confidence.
The Centre of Recycling Enterprise (CORE) was established in 2006 and is a social firm specialising in the recycling of furniture and electrical goods. The enterprise provides essential training, work experience and paid employment to service users and volunteers with different abilities.
  • Telephone: 01434 607509
Klean Gardens offers an affordable garden tidy service for the people of Tynedale by adults with learning disabilities. Here, they gain valuable work experience and training. 

Other activities on offer include:
  • sensory room
  • well stocked art and craft room
  • horse riding at RDA Pegasus stables, Morpeth
  • swimming at Wentworth leisure centre
  • allotment and sensory garden
  • newsletter
  • karaoke and music sessions
  • leisure centre – rebound therapy and gym
  • ten pin bowling
  • personal presentation
  • cookery sessions
  • walking
  • Makaton sign language
We also offer bespoke trips out into the community.
At the Tynedale centre, we aim to facilitate a variety of educational, social, therapeutic and employment opportunities to broaden life experiences and allow service users to exercise their right to self-determination and choice. 

Our belief is that of inclusion, valuing each person’s individual skills and talent. We seek to enable clients to have a real presence in their community by using existing community services, whenever possible, participating and sharing local community facilities.

Our aims and objectives incorporate the service principles of privacy, dignity, respect, choice, independence and fulfilment.

‘Have a say’ users forum meetings are held every eight weeks and include other day services in the Hexham area.

We also input/liaise with other professionals including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, wheelchair services and behaviour analysis intervention teams (BAIT).
All staff are trained in statutory/mandatory courses to Northumberland County Council policy. Each role has specific training in NVQ/QCF or equivalent for each post. Our team is made up of:
  • care supervisors
  • care workers
  • drivers
  • cooks
  • administrative staff
We have three supported employment staff who are domestic assistants and work in our kitchen.
Beverley Sproates - manager
Email: Beverley.Sproates@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01434 605245

Joanne Elliott - assistant manager
Email: JoanneRose.Elliott@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01434 605245

Opening times

Monday - Thursday (9am - 4.30pm)
Friday (9am - 4pm)
​The Pottergate Centre is situated nearby Alnwick town centre, close to the shops and local facilities, which are easily accessed on foot.

The building is all on one level with numerous accessible, light and airy rooms that also include accessible bathrooms. Rooms consist of: 
  • two working kitchens
  • a large dining room
  • a well-equipped computer suite
  • music room
  • sessional rooms
  • physiotherapy room
  • a sensory room
Outside there is an established sensory garden, the potting shed, two allotments, a large polytunnel and four greenhouses. We have a policy to hire out our rooms to different groups within the local community.

During holidays and weekends throughout summer, we run a small café, The Buffet Stop, at the Aln Valley Railway – a newly established heritage railway on the outskirts of Alnwick. This gives clients who work within Pottergate Pantry, and other clients who would like to be involved, a chance to receive training and work experience.

There is a keyworker system at the Pottergate Centre where each person has a named member of staff they can approach in confidence and who will assist the clients on a day-to-day basis, ensuring each person is properly represented within the service and assisting with the individual’s choices, such as their timetables, where they choose the activities they would like to do.

Equally, all clients have an individual care plan that reflects their particular needs and they have two reviews of their service at the Pottergate centre each year in conjunction with care management, other professionals, carers and parents.

Clients who access Pottergate need to be referred by Northumbria Health Care Trust’s care management team. Our clients are adults with learning disabilities, including clients with sensory and physical disabilities.
We have, over a number of years, developed a catering business called Pottergate Pantry. The pantry provides upwards of 50 meals per day for everyone at the centre and offers a wide range to choose from. The catering is divided between the main kitchen, where the savoury products are made, and the green kitchen, where all of the cakes, biscuits and tray bakes are made.

This initially began as a frozen food venture, but we now supply a number of outlets in the community including frozen meals, cakes and tray bakes, which can all be purchased daily from the Pottergate centre.

Hot meals are provided to approximately 15 people who live in the Anchor housing association three days a week and we also provide Branton first school hot meals during term time.

Tray bakes, cakes and biscuits are provided weekly to:
  • The Hepscott Café, Morpeth
  • The Crux Café, Sunderland
  • The Stable Yard Nursery, Craster
The pantry also provides the buffets each year for the ‘Battle of Britain’ parade and the Armistice Day parade. During the Alnwick flower show, the pantry provided tea, coffee and biscuits.

Our kitchens are awarded five stars on the “scores on the doors”.

Pottergate Pantry and the Potting Shed are part of the Made in Northumberland brand, which brings together all the businesses that are established in our Northumberland County Council learning disabilities day services.
The Potting Shed is a growing gardening business with approximately nine clients who plant ‘plugs’, grow plants and vegetables including onions, beetroot, beans and soft fruit bushes for jam that are prepared by Pottergate Pantry to be eaten either in house, or sold.

They are also responsible for the floral displays around the centre to enhance and brighten the external areas of the centre. This year, they had an experimental idea to grow small Christmas trees to increase the seasonal range, which includes wreaths and table decorations. We also represent Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day on our sales front.

In 2013 and 2014, the gardeners won awards in Britain in Bloom, having been nominated by Alnwick in Bloom and Northumberland in Bloom.
The Rhythm Stix are a group of drummers within the centre who have proven to be extremely popular. The group work extremely hard to produce a unique sound that has proven a hit with the public. For the past three years, they have taken part in the Alnwick International Music Festival and at the Alnwick Playhouse and Garden. They have also taken part in workshops at other day centres within Northumberland, to both entertain and give others a chance to drum.

Activities on offer

  • sensory sessions
  • physiotherapy and armchair exercises
  • The Potting Shed
  • Pottergate Pantry
  • Leisure activities including Wii, bowls, boccia and curling
  • The Rhythm Stix – drumming
  • therapeutic music
  • computer sessions
  • pamper sessions
  • My Life
  • healthy living
  • Pottergate action team (PAT) and newsletter (The Centreline)
  • partnership board
  • Northumberland Echo
  • League of Friends
  • Alnwick Infirmary
  • Alnwick International Music Festival

Outreach services

There are two outreach services run by the centre, at Rothbury and Amble. Each outreach is based in a community venue in each village and runs two days per week.

The clients living in each respective area go to these outreaches to receive their day service instead of travelling into Alnwick.

There are dedicated teams who work at the outreaches and strive to use the local community as a basis for their work and to develop community links.

Each group has developed links within their own communities and have taken part in a number of local activities.
This service was created to meet the needs of two clients with complex care needs and who require a nursing service. Two nurses lead a team of care staff who work with clients to provide a safe and stimulating day service.
The team consists of:
  • care supervisors
  • care workers
  • administrative staff
  • service manager
  • assistant managers
All staff are trained in statutory/mandatory courses, as required by the policies of Northumberland County Council. Each role has specific training in NVQ/QCF or equivalent. At the Pottergate centre, we aim to facilitate a variety of social, educational, therapeutic and employment opportunities for each individual. Our aim is to enable clients to broaden their life experiences and individual choices. We aim to enable clients to be part of the community that they live in by using local facilities that are available, thus promoting inclusion.

The Pottergate centre incorporates the service principles of privacy, dignity, respect, choice, independence and fulfilment. These principles are the basis on which we develop and implement our aims and objectives.
Stephanie Stafford – service manager
Email: Stephanie.Stafford@northumberland.gov.uk

Barbara Turner - assistant manager
Email: Barbara.Turner@northumberland.gov.uk

Lesley Rourke - assistant manager
Email: Lesley.Rourke@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 01665 602181

Website: http://www.thepottergatecentre.org.uk/

Opening times

  • Monday – Thursday (9am – 4.30pm)
  • Friday (9am – 4pm)

Charges

  • transport - £1 per journey
  • meals – £2.50 per meal
The horticultural skills unit has been offering a service to people since it opened in January 1985. Since that time, many plants have been grown and sold to the public and many people with learning disabilities have benefited from the service.

In 2011, a major investment within the unit saw our older glass houses being replaced with new ones, as well as the refurbishment of our main building. We now have a very pleasant, light, spacious and easily accessible building that can comfortably accommodate 20 to 25 people with level access to all areas.

The horticultural skills unit celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015 with a series of events, including a visit from the Duchess of Northumberland.

Everyone loves the building, but it is how everyone gets along together that makes the unit such a great community to be a part of. We offer a people who have disabilities a safe and relaxing environment where they can make friends, enjoy themselves and be themselves without discrimination. We aim to maximise each individual’s potential and enhance their quality of life.

In 2014, the unit took over the Hepscott Park garden café that opened in 2012. The café, along with our new glasshouses, home-grown plants and occasional activities for adults and children has made the horticultural skills unit a popular place for members of the public to visit.
Each day begins with a morning meeting featuring all service users and staff. This gives a chance for people to find out what has been happening within the unit and to get involved in planning the work to be done that day.

People choose their own work and there is likely to be a wide range of horticultural and related work available. The main focus of the unit is growing plants for sale to the public. Most sales take place onsite, although we also sell at other locations.

The unit also makes its own compost from leaf mould, which avoids the use of peat.

Vegetables are grown on an allotment scale and there are several landscaped areas that are planted and maintained, including a small amount of grass cutting.

The available work will change depending on the time of year, the weather, the rate of plant sales and the needs/interests of those working that day.
  • 16 day care places per day
  • newly refurbished main building with excellent facilities
  • three large heated cedar glass houses
  • three polytunnels and cold frames
  • allotment area
  • landscaped areas, including:
    • the quiet garden
    • the Chelsea garden
    • the scented garden
    • wildlife pond
  • signposted garden walk for public access
  • woodland area with wormery, composting and willow fencing
  • sheds for storage and workshops
  • horticultural tools and machinery
  • people carrier and crew cab van for garden visits / contract grass cutting
  • large low loader trailer for carrying grass cutting machinery
  • large collection of plants for sale to the public – all grown from seed and cuttings
  • peaceful environment
  • adjacency to the Hepscott Park garden café
Potting shed:
  • seed sowing
  • taking cuttings
  • pricking out seedlings
  • washing pots
  • writing labels
Greenhouses and polytunnels:
  • moving plants
  • watering plants
  • checking and maintaining plants
Shop and sales:
  • serving customers
  • money handling / using cash register
  • re-stocking sales area
  • presentation
Making compost:
  • piling dead leaves into compounds in the woods
  • building and maintaining compost heaps
  • sieving and riddling leaf mould
  • sterilising leaf mould
  • mixing leaf mould with sand and nutrients
  • barrowing potting compost to potting shed
Growing vegetables:
  • soil preparation: digging, raking, preparing a seed bed
  • seed sowing outdoors, planting
  • hoeing, weeding
  • harvesting vegetables
Looking after gardens:
  • grass cutting using a mower and strimmer
  • planting flowers
  • weeding flower beds
Out and about:
  • visits to local gardens
  • visits to garden centres
  • annual holiday to visit gardens in other areas
  • sales at markets and other venues
  • annual cricket match
The horticultural skills unit is unlike the average garden centre: it is a small, but busy nursery that grows a wide range of plants, specialising in unusual, hardy perennials that we sell to members of the public.

At the unit, customers have a chance to talk to the people who have grown the plants and to find unusual plants that they wouldn’t find elsewhere. Customers can also walk around our garden trail, or even call into the garden café for a cup of tea or bite to eat.
We occasionally offer horticultural workshops and these, as well as other horticultural skills unit activities are posted below.

Horticultural Skills Unit Events
Programme of events coming soon

The horticultural skills unit celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2015 with a series of events, including a visit from the Duchess of Northumberland.
 
Manager: Clive Moon
Email: Clive.Moon@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 07990793453

Address: Hepscott Park, Morpeth, NE61 6NF (location map)
Telephone: 01670 623911
Email: hepscottparkhsu@northumberland.gov.uk

Service opening times
Monday – Thursday (9am to 4.30pm)
Friday (9am – 4pm)

Plant sales opening times
Monday – Saturday (10am – 4pm)
The horticultural skills unit has been offering this service since it opened in January 1994. Since then, many plants have been grown and sold to the public, a woodland trail has been built and many people with learning disabilities have benefited from the service.




We celebrated our 20th anniversary in 2014 and this short film (above) was made by FilmAble to mark the occasion.

We are based at the lodge, a small cottage with an open fire in the living room. This cosy environment, along with the small size of the service helps to create the friendly atmosphere that the horticultural skills unit is renowned for.

The service is delivered within the beautiful and tranquil setting of Ridley Hall grounds, offering people who have disabilities a safe and relaxing environment to come and make friends, enjoy themselves and be themselves without discrimination. We aim to maximise each individual’s potential and enhance their quality of life.
Each day starts with a morning meeting, featuring all service users and staff. This allows for people to find out what has been happening and to get involved in planning the work to be done that day. People choose the work they are going to be doing and there is likely to be a wide range of horticultural related work available. 

The main focus of the unit is growing plants for sale to the public. Some sales take place on sit, although we also take plants in our van for sale at other locations. Planting and maintaining flower beds around Ridley Hall, grass cutting and strimming, as well as woodland management are other important areas of work. The work available will change according to the time of year, the weather and the rate of plant sales.
  • 10 day care places per day
  • homely lodge cottage used as a base, with meeting room, office, kitchen, toilets and locker room
  • three heated glasshouses
  • two polytunnels
  • allotment area
  • Ridley Hall gardens – a large area of lawns, yew hedges and mature trees with large flower beds which we plant and maintain
  • Ridley Hall woodland, with woodland trail
  • sheds for storage and workshops
  • horticultural tools and machinery
  • crew cab van for garden visits
  • large low loader trailer for carrying grass cutting machinery
  • large collection of plants for sale to the public – all grown from seed and cuttings
  • peaceful environment
  • beautiful scenery
  • Tynedale horticultural service is in a rural location, adjacent to Allen Banks, a National Trust property.
Plant production
  • seed sowing in trays
  • taking cuttings
  • pricking out seedlings
  • potting plants
  • washing pots
  • writing labels
Greenhouses and polytunnels
  • moving plants
  • watering plants
  • checking/maintaining plants
  • growing tomatoes, sweetcorn etc.
Plant sales
  • sales – serving customers
  • sales – using cash register/handling money
  • sales at other community venues (Haltwhistle plant fair, Allendale fair)
  • re-stocking sales area/good presentation
Growing vegetables
  • soil preparation: digging, raking, preparing a seed bed
  • seed sowing outdoors, planting
  • hoeing, weeding
  • harvesting vegetables
Looking after gardens
  • grass cutting – using mower/strimmer
  • planting flowers
  • weeding flower beds
Woodland work
  • cutting fallen timber
  • tree planting
  • trail building
  • log splitting
  • making kindling
  • chipping waste timber
Making leaf mould
  • piling dead leaves into compounds
  • building and maintaining compost heaps
  • sieving and riddling leaf mould
Out and about
  • visits to local gardens
  • visits to garden centres
  • annual holiday to visit gardens in other areas
  • sales at markets and other venues
  • annual cricket match
Tynedale horticultural service is not like an average garden centre. It is a small lodge which grows a range of plants from seed and cuttings, specialising in unusual hardy perennials, and sell these to members of the public. Customers calling in for plants can also have a cup of coffee in our small woodland garden.

Here, customers have a chance to talk to the people who have grown the plants, to find unusual plants that you wouldn’t find elsewhere and to receive a personal service. We are open on Thursdays between 10am and 3.30pm, but do close during the winter period.
Manager: Clive Moon
Email: Clive.Moon@northumberland.gov.uk
Mobile: 07990793453

Assistant Manager: Karen Hemming
Email: Karen.Hemming@northumberland.gov.uk
Mobile: 07990793619 Service opening times:
Monday – Thursday (9am - 4.30pm)
Friday (9am - 4pm)

Plant sales opening times:
Thursdays only (10am – 3.30pm)
In 1996, the unit was run by Earth Balance. However, since September 1999, it has been run by Northumberland County Council.

Since then, many vegetables and plants have been grown and sold to the public and many people with learning disabilities and mental health needs have benefited from the service provided. 

The quantity of vegetables grown and sold has increased over the last few years and as a result now has a brown tourist sign on the main road, directing customers to Sleekburn HTU kitchen gardens.

The unit is a rural oasis hidden away from the main road and a lot of our first time visitors are surprised to find a slice of the countryside amidst a mainly rural area. 

The HTU has a pleasant, peaceful working environment and the sense of secluded space is part of the unit’s identity. However, the sense of community within the unit is just as important in making the unit a great place to work or visit. It offers people who have disabilities a safe, relaxing environment within which to work, make friends, enjoy themselves and be themselves without discrimination. We aim to maximise each individual’s potential and to enhance their quality of life.
Each day begins with a morning meeting featuring all service users and staff. This gives a chance for people to find out what has been happening within the unit and to get involved in planning the work to be done that day.

The main focus of the unit is growing vegetables and plants for sale to the public. Sales take place on site and we are working on trying to increase the number of customers who visit us, but we also take our produce in our van at other locations, as well as sell to retailers.

The available work will change depending on the time of year, the weather, the rate of sale, yields and the needs/interests of those working that day.
  • 18 day care places per day
  • purpose built, turf-roofed training building with excellent facilities
  • two polycarbonate greenhouses
  • three polytunnels
  • large potting shed
  • several acres of growing space for vegetables and soft fruit
  • stable building and paddocks with two horses
  • small ‘secret garden’ areas
  • horticultural tools and machinery
  • people carrier & crew cab van for garden visits/contract grass cutting
  • large low loader trailer for carrying grass cutting machinery
  • vegetables and plants for sale to the public – all grown without chemicals
  • peaceful environment
  • the unit is at the southern end of the Earth Balance site
Potting shed
  • seed sowing
  • taking cuttings
  • pricking out seedlings
  • potting plants
  • washing pots
  • writing labels
Greenhouses and polytunnels
  • moving plants
  • watering plants
  • checking and maintaining plants
Field work
  • rotavating (using tractor)
  • soil preparation
  • seed sowing outdoors
  • harvesting vegetables
  • mowing and strimming
Vegetable sales
  • weighing and bagging
  • serving customers
  • deliveries to retailers
  • money handling / using cash register
  • stalls and other venues
Equine care
  • mucking out stables
  • exercising and moving between paddocks
  • maintaining paddocks
  • feeding and watering
Willow and crafts
  • cutting willow
  • weaving willow
  • making Christmas wreaths
Looking after gardens
  • Grass cutting using a mower and strimmer
  • planting flowers
  • weeding flower beds
Out and about
  • visits tolocal gardens
  • visits to garden centres
  • annual holiday to visit garden centres in other areas
  • sales at markets and other venues
  • annual cricket match
  • contract grass cutting
Sleekburn horticultural unit is a small, but busy market garden. We specialise in fresh, local, healthy vegetables, herbs and soft fruits grown in fields and polytunnels. We sell directly to the public on site and off site at fairs and other events. We also sell to retailers and you can find out vegetables at Moorhouse Farm, Stannington and Morpeth. The vegetables we have available varies from week to week and customers can see where they have been grown and may have a chance to harvest your own vegetables from the field.
Manager: Clive Moon
Email: Clive.Moon@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 07990793453

Assistant manager: Venita Kanwar
Email: Venita.kanwar@northumberland.gov.uk
Telephone: 07557614184

Address: Sleekburn Horticultural Training Unit, West Sleekburn Farm, Bomarsund, Bedlington NE22 7AD
01670 530111
Email: sleekburnhtu@northumberland.gov.uk

Service opening times:
Monday – Thursday (9am - 4.30pm)
Friday (9am - 4pm)

Vegetable & plant sales opening times:
Monday – Friday (10am - 4pm)