Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 16:37

The second annual cricket match between members of the People and Gardens scheme and Eden Project staff will take place at St. Austell Cricket Club on Sunday September 2.

The 20-over match is held to raise money for People and Gardens, a project giving people with physical and emotional impairments the opportunity to learn all aspects of growing and selling vegetables.

As well as cricket, there will be a barbecue, bar, cake and chutney stalls, tombola, face-painting and a treasure hunt.

People and Gardens are based at Eden’s plant nursery near Pentewan and play cricket in their breaks, a pursuit that led them to challenge Eden’s team to a game last year.

With the help of their coach Bill Simpson, who is also Development Manager for the project, the team put in a valiant performance but lost narrowly to Eden in a day’s play hampered by rain.

Bill said: “After a fantastic contest last year, the People and Gardens cricket team are ready for their rematch. Training has gone well, and our new fitness programme has given us added confidence! All the guys are very much looking forward to the game.

“The Eden Project and St Austell Cricket Club have been fantastic in their support, and we hope to make some new friends on the day.”

People and Gardens has been running for 13 years and the horticulture skills of the team have developed so much that the group now supplies the Eden Project’s kitchens and has set up a vegetable bag scheme delivering fresh produce to more than 70 households in Cornwall each month.

The People and Gardens supported work project aims to enable participants - whose lives have been affected by mental and physical challenges ranging from autism to Down's syndrome - to play a greater role in their communities.

The ultimate aim of the group is to enable people to take control over their own lives and find employment. People and Gardens works closely and in partnership with the Eden Project and the vegetable bag scheme was started to create jobs, providing real work for real pay for some of the participants.

People and Gardens was established by Ken Radford and in that time he and his team have helped more than 150 people make real improvements in their lives through learning horticultural skills and growing food for Eden’s restaurants and cafes. Some of the participants go on to live independently, to study and to find jobs.

There are currently 40 people taking part, all coming from within a 25-mile radius of the nursery and with an age range of 16 to 70.

The match will start at 1pm and admission costs £2. All proceeds will go towards the People and Gardens project.