New look for new leaf as Southport centre extends activities 

A Southport garden centre which gives people with disabilities the chance to learn horticultural and retail skills is to expand the scope of its activities.

New Leaf, located at Park Lodge greenhouses on Rotten Row, is to open at weekends for the first time from this Saturday (May 28th).

The centre is run by Sefton’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions, one of a number of similar projects across the borough providing vocational opportunities for its clients.

Staff at New Leaf hope the extended opening hours will help to increase sales and profits, which are ploughed back into providing more resources and opportunities for service users.

WIth this in mind, they have helped clients to prepare a wide range of seasonally popular bedding plants and hanging baskets, in addition to the centre’s regular stocks of shrubs, perennials and pot plants.

New Leaf is also a central point for the sale of one-off craft items produced by the other New Directions services across Sefton.

These include bird boxes, bug hotels, garden furniture, jewellery, pottery, textile items and a selection of clients’ artwork.

Lesley Henderson, who manages the New Directions vocational services in Sefton, commented: “Everyone at New Leaf is excited that we’ll be open every day of the week and welcoming additional customers from this weekend.

“Visitors getting their gardens ready for the summer will be able to choose from a range of high-quality plants and unusual craft items.

“They will also have the satisfaction of knowing that their purchases are supporting our service users who are learning useful new life and work skills.

“These range from planting and designing hanging baskets in our greenhouses to retail and customer service skills in the garden centre shop,” added Lesley.

*  New Leaf will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays from this weekend, in addition to its normal weekday opening hours. For more information about the centre ring 01704 562406.

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