Grow – Inspiring Hope, Unlocking Potential

Posted by: Sam Pegg
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If you’re looking to breathe new life into your home and garden this Spring, visit The Potting Shed online for a range of plants and accessories to collect in Nether Edge.

The Potting Shed is the retail outlet for Grow, a youth development charity that works with young people in Sheffield. Many of the young people they work with face mental health difficulties that have resulted in social isolation and a lack of engagement in work or training prospects. At Grow they combine coaching with nature based projects to help their trainees combat social isolation, boost their wellbeing and develop employability skills.


Steven Cotton, founder of Grow, says: “This programme not only coaches employability skills but also gives the trainees a context to put these skills into action. Many of the young people we work with struggled to access employment and had given up hope of securing work. The Grow Gardeners Team Leaders are trained in both gardening and coaching skills so are able to support young people in developing gardening skills whilst also developing essential employability skills that will equip them for their future”.


The Potting Shed was created as part of the charity, Grow. They are a micro plant nursery based at Nether Edge. They grow a range of plants from seeds, cuttings and by dividing established plants. They also sell plants grown by other nurseries who share their commitment to growing plants organically and in peat free compost!

All of the plants you buy will have been selected, grown and nurtured by Grow Gardeners. The gardeners are young people who are developing skills and boosting their wellbeing by being a part of Grow’s programmes.

If you have any specific plant requests do let them know. They love a challenge and will seek to find it/grow it for you!


Take a look at The Potting Shed online now:


Grow Gardeners is a paid work experience and training programme aimed at unemployed young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment due to mental ill-health and other barriers to employment.

One of the current trainees is an adult in foster care. His foster carer said:

“This scheme is effectively a paid work experience programme based on a social enterprise model.  We really needed this kind of experience to support him before he enters the world of employment. They are sympathetic employers and take each student's needs into account whilst encouraging them to work hard and develop professional behaviours.

He is really enjoying himself! He is earning money, is busy every day with regular hours, is developing his knowledge and understanding of horticulture, making new friendships, becoming more independent, taking risks, asking for help, thinking carefully about when and what to eat, going to bed earlier and sleeping better!”


Dale, one of the programme graduates said:

“I learned a lot about flowers, weeds, perennials, and how to take care of them, like deadheading and pruning. It’s actual employment, so it’s helped me out through lockdown… it was good to learn new things. It’s been getting me out more than I would have so that’s been good.”

Talking about how the trainee programme has benefitted him, Dale said: “It’s got me into a set routine with going to work, so it’s helped me prepare for my future…  I’d recommend Grow Gardeners to others. It’s a good start for someone who hasn’t worked before, you could definitely do Grow Gardeners and progress to whatever you want to be as it doesn’t limit you to just gardening.”


The Grow Gardeners programme has capacity for new clients in 2022 and will soon be able to offer a wider range of services including building patios, decking and planting design. To make an enquiry about the services, visit:


Grow gained charity status in February 2018 and it has been an incredible journey so far. Those who have started an organisation will know what an exciting and at times challenging adventure it can be.


Grow is a huge team effort. Their volunteers, funders and employers enable them to have a great impact on the lives of young people. They aim to get the balance of being a lean and yet quality organisation. They want to give their young people the very best support but they aim to do this in a way that is financially sustainable.

If you are interested in supporting them through volunteering, supporting them financially or providing employment opportunities they would love to hear from you.

Please contact them and they can help provide more information for you:


Why not give them a follow on social media for more information and behind the scenes

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See also:


Westside Magazine:

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Eastside Magazine:

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Sixer Magazine:

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Northside Magazine:

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Southside Magazine:

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