DEPUTY First Minister John Swinney MSP visited Belville Community Garden Trust in Greenock in recognition of its work during the covid pandemic.
He toured the facility with manager Sally Clough, following an invitation from local MSP, Stuart McMillan,
Mr Swinney, who is also Scotland’s covid recovery secretary, said: “I want to thank Sally and everyone involved with Belville Community Garden Trust for their sterling efforts during the pandemic.
“The work they do is vitally important to many people, but especially here in the east end of Greenock. In addition to offering a safe space for people to socialise, and teaching people how to grow, pick and cook with fresh fruit and vegetables, their training programme is also helping people into employment.
“Community initiatives like this, run by and for local people, will be essential to Scotland’s recovery as we emerge from the pandemic. I am very grateful to the staff and volunteers for all their efforts, and to my colleague Stuart McMillan MSP for inviting me to visit Belville. I know he is quite rightly proud of their achievements.”
Mr McMillan said: “Belville Community Garden Trust is an exceptional organisation and has helped many people over many years but came into their own during the pandemic.
“Mr Swinney also has responsibility for covid recovery so I wanted him to see Belville’s work first-hand and hear about their future plans.
“In addition, I have always believed it’s important to recognise excellent work and hosting the deputy first minister was an opportunity for the Scottish Government to thank everyone at Belville for all their efforts.
“I know the deputy first minister was hugely impressed with what he learned today and was delighted to be invited.
“Inverclyde came together last year and I was extremely proud of how our community rallied round. Belville played a huge part in that, building on the excellent work they had undertaken long before covid.”