Work project hit by vandals

KIRKCALDY;'Barnett Crescent;'Vandalism at the Evergreen project run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Barnett Crescent;'Vandalism at the Evergreen project run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

A KIRKCALDY project which helps people experiencing or recovering from mental ill health gain new skills and get back into work has been targeted by vandals.

A polytunnel at Evergreen, the SAMH training service in Barnet Crescent, was damaged by vandals overnight last Thursday, just days before the project was set to officially open as a garden centre.

The polytunnel is being used to grow plants for Dundee Food and Flower Show in September.

Beyond rescue

David Ross, instructor at Evergreen, said: “The skin has been slashed and it’s pretty well knackered.

“It’s beyond rescue or anything like that.

“A new skin will be about £500, plus two or three days labour to strip and re-skin it. It’s an expense and an inconvenience we could do without.

“We’ve just finished our sale of bedding plants which we do every year, opening to the public in May, June and July, and we usually do wreaths at the end of the year, but we’ve now got shrubs and herbacious plants for sale and we’re going to be open all year round.”

David Torrance MSP visited the project, which provides users with real work experience in horticulture, to officially open it as a garden centre at the start of their shrub and herbacious season on Tuesday.

Impressed

Mr Torrance told the Press: “I’m extremely impressed by the work being done at the SAMH Evergreen service – it is doing a great job helping people get back on their feet.

“People with mental health problems still face a lot of stigma, so it’s good to see a project which will help break down these barriers and also give them the skills to return to work.

“As a keen gardener myself, I know how much it can improve your wellbeing, so I’d encourage everyone to visit the project and support this community asset.”

Among the items on sale are plants grown by trainees, and some hand-crafted planters and picnic tables.

Evergreen is open Monday to Friday, from 9.30 a.m to 4.30 p.m.