The Shack, the Stockton based community project, is a step closer to its ambition of growing vegetables for its community grocery, thanks to support from the Teesside Charity, entrepreneur Dr Bill Scott OBE, recycling business Scott Bros and Teesworks.

Based in Ragworth, The Shack has received a £1,000 donation from the Teesside Charity, as well as materials to help it bring back into use an old allotment space and create accessible planting areas for the community.

The Shack provides educational, recreational and social activities and a range of support for a variety of needs. It is part of the Tees Valley Community Church and works with families, teenagers, young adults and the elderly.

It also operates a community grocery for local people, who can select 12 items from its shelves, fridges and freezers, and can purchase additional items at cost price. It is run by a team of 30 volunteers, who lead a range of clubs and community activities.

The allotment will not only provide produce for the community grocery but will give local people of all ages the chance to work together and gain new skills.

Having made the donation on behalf of the Teesside Charity, Bill Scott OBE who is Chief Executive of Wilton Engineering, visited The Shack to find out how the money would be used, and discovered its plans to build raised planting beds for its crops.

Bill reached out to friend Peter Scott, who is a Director of Haverton Hill based Scott Bros. The business donated a skip to help with the clearing of the allotment, as well as four tons of aggregate and four tons of top soil, to be used for vegetable planting.

To build the raised beds, The Shack needed more than 170 railway sleepers, so Bill contacted Teesworks, which is currently regenerating the former Redcar steel site. Part of extensive works on the site involves removing part of its railway line and large wooden sleepers.

Bill Scott OBE said: “I was really impressed with the Shack’s approach in relation to running its food bank and its efforts to become more sustainable.

“It’s great to see our community come together to support such an important cause and it reflects the ethos of the Teesside charity, which is to work together to improve our area for the people who live here.”

Peter Scott, Director of Scott Bros., said: “Our recycled topsoil is really popular with Teesside gardeners, and we were delighted to help The Shack. As soon as Bill called me, there was no hesitation in donating the soil, the skip and the aggregate.”

Paul Connor, Ragworth Primrose Hill Eden Team Leader, said, “We are overjoyed by the donations to The Shack from The Teesside Charity, Scott Bros. and Teesworks. They have allowed us to progress a project that we have been wanting to start for some time and will be really important for our community.

“Everything we produce will go back into helping those in the community, at a time where food poverty is a very real worry. These donations will enable us to create a resource to both support the community with fresh food, as well as give them a new activity to enjoy.”