The Leader of the Green Party visited a recycling enterprise for people with learning difficulties in Rugby today.
Natalie Bennett met with project coordinators and clients at Works 4 Me in Albert Street, Rugby, today (February 5) and answered questions on topics ranging from benefits to how to improve the town centre.
Works 4 Me is an innovative project combing art, recycling, training, employment and enterprise for young adults with learning difficulties and other groups.
Ms Bennett went along to find out more about the organisation and how the Green Party could support its members.
Speaking about the enterprise, Ms Bennett said: “This is a wonderful use of an empty shop and it’s a real example of a community supporting people and doing in through creative ways. I haven’t seen anything quite like this any where else and it could be emulated in other places.”
Ms Bennett was taken on a tour of the town by the Rugby Green Party.
“What really struck me was the number of empty shops,” she said.
“It it a town centre that is really struggling and what we need is creativity and support from the council to pick it back up.
“People have told me that they want to see the return of the indoor market so that’s something to look at.”
Ms Bennett said: “Rugby is an area where the Green Party could be very successful. We now have elected representation in every county in the West Midlands, so it’s a real growth area for us overall. We’ve done very well in places like Solihull and Rugby is one of our next targets.”
Kate Morris, a director at Works 4 Me, said: “Natalie’s visit is very prestigious and it is supporting not only the green side of our business but Natalie has also taken a real interest in people with learning difficulties and supporting them back into work.
“Our service users feels they are being listened to and that is fantastic. It’s great to get younger people engaged in politics and anything people can do to improve and support that is brilliant.”
Joel Mearns (featured in the video above) visits Works 4 Me on a regular basis.
He said: “I love it here and I feel like I can be myself. It gives people a new lease of life in the same way that we give the furniture a new lease of life. It’s great that Natalie has come here today so we can ask her questions. She was really nice and listened to what we had to say.”