Gannett grant gives Newport charity space to grow

South Wales Argus: Bill Upham, Director of the Charity-Growing Space has been given a grant by the Gannett foundation to invest in new machines that will help them for future training.  Pictured centre is Bill with some his staff and clients in the workshop. (2776417) Bill Upham, Director of the Charity-Growing Space has been given a grant by the Gannett foundation to invest in new machines that will help them for future training. Pictured centre is Bill with some his staff and clients in the workshop. (2776417)

A NEWPORT charity can “progress to the next level” after being awarded a grant of £8,000 which will help it find people work.

Growing Space is a mental health charity that provides work skills training and a support network to help adults improve their quality of life.

A grant of £7,915 – from the Argus’ parent company Gannett – was secured by the charity to purchase and install new machinery that will help their patients gain vital qualifications as they are nurtured towards finding work.

The Gannet Foundation is the charitable arm of Gannet Co, Inc, owner of Newsquest Media Group, which publishes regional and local newspapers, websites and magazines across the UK. The foundation provides money for projects in areas where Newsquest operates.

Bill Upham, 50, director of Growing Space, believes the grant will help push the charity forward.

“This is really positive for us,” he said. “We work in a field where it is difficult to progress, as new machinery is always needed, so it is great for Gannett to help us.

“This grant will allow us to enhance the skill sets that we can deliver as we will be able to offer better work-related training.

“People we work with will be able to develop skills that are transferable, so it’s a very positive move.

“The cost of the machinery is covered by the grant but we will invest in our resources to run it.”

Growing Space offers a variety of training in fields such as horticulture, woodwork, IT, craft and a work-based learning programme, which are all designed to get people into work.

This year the charity has worked with 139 people in Newport and 70 of those received qualifications ranging from BTECs to IT awards.

As well as the training offered, a section of the charity is also geared towards supporting people who suffer with mental health issues.

“We aim to help people in both ways,” added Mr Upham. “Training people is the side of us that most people know, but we also support, nurture and look after people.”

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