EPS is growing a gardening training scheme for NEET young people through a partnership with a leading children’s charity.

The social enterprise is working with Blackpool Boys & Girls Club (BBGC), which has been given a £75,000 cash boost to support out-of-work youngsters to improve their employability while undertaking gardening work in their communities.

The funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation’s Invest scheme will benefit 120 young people in Blackpool – which currently experiences some of the highest NEET (not in employment, education or training) rates in the country.

Nicknamed ‘Mow-tivate’ the training scheme will see young people, aged 16-24, undertake gardening work for residents and communities in Blackpool, while earning accredited qualifications and improving their life and work skills.

The grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation, worth around £75,000, will employ qualified youth workers to run the 12-week training scheme and mentor young people to address personal issues causing barriers to employment and independent living.

Lasting three years, it will create opportunities for 120 young people in Blackpool.

Youth worker Jed Sullivan, a trustee of BBGC, said: “This Invest funding will allow us to run a training scheme for NEET young people to develop valuable life and work skills and improve their employability.  This is similar to a previous highly successful programme we ran, which saw 85% of participants gain employment.


“To be able to significantly improve the life chances of a young person fills us with immense pride.  The opportunity to be able to work with more young people is really exciting, not just for BBGC and those individuals we will work with directly, but also their families, the communities they will contribute to, and their future employers.”

A previous youth training scheme run by EPS saw 85% of young people move into further full-time employment in the face of having been furthest from the job market before the programme due to limited educational attainment and work experience, mental health problems, family breakdown or substance misuse problems.