Flint town centre is in bloom thanks to a talented group of adults with learning disabilities, who have been working hard to create a new array of hanging baskets.
Tri Ffordd is a group of adults supported by national learning disability charity, Hft, as part of its supported employment initiative. The team are behind the 53 hanging baskets recently put on display in Flint town centre and a further 6 in use at Flintshire County Council.
The 44-strong group has been supplying handcrafted horticultural goods to people and businesses in Flintshire and further afield for over 25 years, and has been supported by Hft since early 2018, when the charity opened its first service in Wales. Offering various work opportunities and job coaching, Hft Flintshire supports people to gain work experience while building confidence, developing skills and widening friendships.
After many successful contracts, including supplying plants to local agricultural shows, grounds maintenance and creating festive wreaths, Tri Ffordd were approached by local officials earlier this year to brighten up the community
The ambitious project has been underway for over two months, with the keen gardeners taking on a host of responsibilities, from sourcing and nurturing plants to ensuring they are ready for public display.
Steven, who is a member of Tri Ffordd, said: “I find working at Tri Ffordd interesting and everyone is supportive and willing to help. I feel valued for my hard work. I’m sure the hanging baskets will brighten up the high street and give people something beautiful and bright to look at.”
Shaun Randall, Operations Manager at Hft, said: “We’re so proud of everything our brilliant Tri Ffordd group have achieved and it’s lovely to be able to go out and see the product of their hard work on display in the community.
“Supported employment initiatives like Tri Ffordd are key to our mission of supporting people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible, allowing people to gain new skills that they’ll hopefully be able to take forward into full time employment.”
Hft Flintshire supports 270 people locally with day services and work opportunities. Work opportunities for adults with learning disabilities supported at the service include Rowleys Pantry and Freshfields Café, Caste Connections assembly and packing service, Abbey Metal metal and iron based contract work, and Crefftau Cariad sewing and needlework services.