A CHARITY and a local business are working together to reduce waste.

Natural Ability, which is based in Hexham and provides independent supported living and day services, is teaming up with Homebase for its Day Farming service.

The service team work in gardens, on farms and with conservation projects allowing Day Farmers to learn new skills out in the fresh air and countryside.

While the team have used Homebase and other local stores for pots, plants and equipment, it has now partnered with Homebase’s gardening team specifically.

As waste is a known issue in garden centres, the staff at Homebase now collect all plants that are no longer attractive for sale and donate them to the charity.

The plants are taken away to the Natural Ability community garden in Sinderhope where they are nurtured and planted out into other local spaces.

The pots are cleaned and stacked and again offered to other local groups for their use.

Any plants beyond saving go into the compost and until ready for the raised beds where the vegetables, salad leaves and herbs are grown.

Louise Northwood, day services manager at Natural Ability, said: “We are now looking at further ways of collaboration including the possibilities of surplus paint and decorating supplies being used in our independent supported living.”