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Help Yourself Grow

Welcome to Fair Deal‘s exciting project called ‘Help Yourself Grow’. Help Yourself Grow is a fun practical experience for young people aged between 18 – 30, who live in Glasgow and have a learning disability. The programme currently offers gardening and cookery training.

Aims of the Project

Each training programme is designed to improve the knowledge, skills and confidence of the participants, which we believe should enhance opportunities for these young people for further training, volunteering, employment or social enterprise opportunities. The training being offered is flexible and person centred, and there will be opportunities to achieve an accreditation.


HYG was the winner of the Evening Times Community Champions Award for 2013. We also won a variety of other awards at the Gardening Scotland Event in 2013.


Fair Deal is working in partnership with The Hidden Gardens for the gardening activity of the Help Yourself Grow experience. A training garden has been specifically designed for Help Yourself Grow and has been developed at the site adjacent to one of our partners the Jeely Piece Club. The garden features a geodesic dome for sowing and growing, raised beds designed for wheel chair accessibility, an orchard, a sensory/biodiversity garden area and a community growing space. Our trainees are supported to undertake a range of tasks as they work towards the Caley “Grow and Learn” horticultural award. This is an award which is accredited by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society and has two levels as follows:

Grow and Learn Roots: this is the starting point of the learning and introduces the learner to core horticulture tasks. Learners can then choose which additional horticultural related activities they wish to undertake as well as setting themselves personal goals too.  Some of the activities which are covered with Grow and Learn are digging, composting, sowing seeds, growing fruit and veg, plant care and planting out.

Grow and Learn Nurture: following completion of Grow and Learn Roots, learners can progress to Grow and Learn Nurture to build on existing skills and knowledge.

Both levels of award recognise individual progress and achievement through experiential learning and personal development. A portfolio is developed for each trainee, as evidence of their activities and development.

The award offers the learner a structured framework to work within, but it is also flexible enough to ensure a person centred approach at all times. This makes the award ideally suited for those with a learning disability. The award is normally made after around 12 months of attending the gardening project and no prior horticultural knowledge is required.  See http://www.rchs.co.uk/education/grow-learn for more information.


Fair Deal is working in partnership with FS Training for the cooking activity of the Help Yourself Grow experience. Help Yourself Grow Cookery is a fun exciting way to learn how to cook and bake healthy snacks and meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Covering many topics, skills and techniques from within the catering industry, Help Yourself Grow also develops skills which can be used at home to encourage self-sufficiency and confidence within the kitchen.

There is also a canteen area at the training site which is ideal for practising customer service.  Our training programme gives trainees an opportunity to gain the Elementary Food Hygiene Certificate which is accredited by REHIS (Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland).  The programme also includes the following topics:

  • Knife Skills and use of equipment
  • Nutrition with a focus on making healthy choices
  • Selecting recipes for cooking
  • Menu Planning
  • Serving and Customer Service

The pace of the programme will be tailored to the needs of the group.