Charity gets cash after Whitby Gazette steps in

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A WHITBY charity that helps people with mental health problems and learning difficulties has thanked the Whitby Gazette for publicity to overcame a delay in payment of a £4,000 compensation grant.

The charity, ParticipAction runs a gardening scheme, originally based on land at Stainsacre Hall in Whitby.

The hall was owned by Middlesbrough Council and used as an outdoor education centre.

But earlier this year Middlesbrough Council decided to sell it due to a dramatic fall in the number of youngsters using it and ParticipAction were given notice to move off the land.

ParticipAction had greenhouses, polytunnels and sheds on the land and Middlesbrough Council agreed to give them £4,000 in compensation for the structures they had to leave behind.

But there was a delay in making the payment and the Whitby Gazette ran a story highlighting the problem. As a result, Middlesbrough Council apologised and paid up.

ParticipAction now has a new gardening site at Larpool Elderly Persons’ Home given by North Yorkshire County Council.

PartcipAction chairman Barrie Shade said: “We were very pleased with the result thanks to the publicity from the Whitby Gazette and we now have our £4,000.

“”We’re now waiting for planning permission to install our structures but in the meantime we’re digging out foundations for them.

“We’re also considering extending our brief to elderly and disabled people because the new site is on flat ground unlike the former one which was on a slope and our long term plan is to install raised beds suitable for elderly and disabled people.”

Mr Shade was also concerned that the land they had to leave at Stainsacre Hall had been left, he claimed, to rack and ruin.

But Middlesbrough Council has now put the hall on the market with Strutt and Parker.

ParticipAction is also appealing for active volunteers to help with heavier work. Anyone interested should contact (01947) 820172.