EnCompass project growing strongly

AI’s EnCompass project has had a busy second year of work. The project team have continued to deliver core employability and training services, while expanding the scope of their work. They now offer a number of more therapeutic activities, including art, meditation, SMART workshops and an eight-week Living Life to the Full course.

“We recognised that people with complex needs benefit from having flexible options to choose from,” says EnCompass Caseworker, Magdalena Marciniak, explaining why the project has grown in the way it has.

EnCompass is an innovative employability programme for people living with complex needs. As part of its varied work, EnCompass supports AI’s Dumbiedykes Community Gardening project. This takes place every Monday for eight months of the year. Funding for the last season was provided by Spirit of Dumbiedykes. This season funding is coming from the Community Grants Fund, City of Edinburgh Council (South East Locality).

The students on the course learn all about organic gardening from Alastair, our horticultural expert. The project has been increasingly popular, with 25 people taking part in 2018.

The garden project has been able to host a number of barbeques. These social events provide an opportunity for all AI students to enjoy the garden, taste delicious food and celebrate the hard work of the gardeners. At the first barbeque of 2019, the band Serenity Strings provided tunes to go along with the food.

“We hope that these vibrant events will encourage more volunteers to join,” says Magdalena. “We aim to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get experience of the gardening sector and to learn about healthy food and lifestyle choices.”

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