With the return of pupils to the classroom after months of home schooling, Grimsby Garden Centre is supporting young people to get outside and get growing.

To boost and encourage green-fingered activity, the popular garden centre is sending free Grow With Us seed packs to all primary schools across North East Lincolnshire.

Grimsby Garden Centre manager Craig Champion said: “We know it’s been a tough year for local schools and young people and we wanted to give them a little boost now they have returned to the classroom.

“We believe green-fingered activity is important for physical and mental health and wellbeing and we think young people should have the opportunity to experience nature and have the chance to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers.

“Plus, we love being part of the local community. So, with that in mind, we’re encouraging local schools to grow with us.”

Grimsby Garden Centre know more than most the positive benefits of gardening on both mental and physical health.

The centre is owned by NAViGO – provider of NHS mental health services across North East Lincolnshire.

NAViGO get people from disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals with mental health difficulties back into work by offering them skills, training and employment opportunities.

But Grimsby Garden Centre is also a not-for-profit organisation, which means that any profit made by the centre goes back into its upkeep and straight into NAViGO, to be used to improve mental health services across North East Lincolnshire.

Craig added: “Gardening can be easy and lots of fun once you know how but it’s also relaxing, inclusive, reduces stress and can really help people to open up.”

Inside each pack are a selection of seeds, instruction sheets, grower’s certificates, badges and stickers to encourage young people to get growing. Plus a sunflower competition pack.

Craig added: “We’re hoping this is the start of season’s long friendships with lots of local schools, and that people will continue to grow with us!”

It’s a busy time for the local centre which is currently undergoing transformation that will see the opening of a new café facility on 17 May – the first phase of a major redevelopment which will also see the introduction of an eco-friendly green barn and the creation of an independent retail hub built from reclaimed shipping containers.