Southern Vectis provided a big day out for a charity offering therapeutic horticulture for adults with learning disabilities as they took an open-top bus ride to The Needles.

Muddy Boots Gardening Group on the Isle of Wight is run on behalf of Southern Housing Group. Based on land at Quarr Abbey, its members grow vegetables and other produce, which they sell from the Abbey shop – raising money to fund the group’s operation.

Diane Woodhouse of Muddy Boots Gardening Group, said:

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“Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been meeting in small groups, but we wanted to organise a trip to bring everyone together again.

“We applied to Southern Vectis’ Community Fund, for the use of an open-top bus – which we took on a wonderful trip up to The Needles. Some of our group have never travelled by bus before – and they were so excited, especially with the views we got from the top deck.

“Our group, which focuses on providing mental and physical wellbeing for some of our community’s most vulnerable adults, has no direct funding. We are self-sufficient – by selling much of our produce – but we greatly appreciate any extra help we can get from local businesses. This was a fantastic gesture from Southern Vectis.

Richard Tyldsley, Southern Vectis general manager, added:

“Muddy Boots Gardening Group is a hugely important resource for local people.

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“We were delighted to be able to help with their big day out to The Needles.”

Southern Vectis’ Community Fund is open to applicants all year round, with the bus operator’s funding and support donated during May and November.

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