FROM seven people when it first started the Walton Lea Partnership now offers help to around 70 people every week.

And the impact the service provides is immeasurable says the team behind the Chester Road centre.

From gardening, woodwork sessions, flower arranging and bike restoration - there is an ever growing list of skills people can pick up with help from the volunteers.

Kate Finch, from the project, said: “Most people who come to us have some other physical disabilities as well as a learning disability.

“When people come to us we tailor what we do with them for their needs and they have regular reviews too.

“We are trying to give them as much opportunity and classes as they can have.

“The scheme is also about building self esteem and confidence.”

And the difference can be clearly seen in those who spend time there.

Kate said: “We had one user who could not even make eye contact when he spoke to anyone at first and now thanks to interactions with others he can.”

As well as helping users to grow their social skills by making friends the project offers structured learning for those with a wide range of disabilities with the aim of offering a hands-on approach to work.

“We call what we offer work based training so we are different to a day centre as we try to give them as near an experience to work as we can,” added Kate. “We have had some success with some of our younger benefactors have progressed to other employment.”

Most people who use the Walton Lea Partnership have been referred by Warrington Borough Council’s social services team.

And they can choose to treat it as a full time job working up to five days a week at the site.

Next week discover what the future has in store for the Walton Lea Partnership and how you can help them out.