15th Jul, 2019

Solihull charity farm for adults with disabilities plans for £600k expansion

Felix Nobes 8th Apr, 2019 Updated: 8th Apr, 2019

A SOLIHULL charity for people with disabilities has launched a fundraising campaign for new £600,000 facilities.

Family Care Trust – which runs Newlands Bishop Farm on Berry Hall Lane, Catherine-de-Barnes – has set itself an ambitious £250,000 target in its 25th anniversary year.

The money will be raised through 25 fundraising activities throughout the year which would finance the charity’s bold expansion plans for the farm.

The farm offers vocational learning for adults with learning difficulties and physical health conditions including woodwork and agriculture as well as a community gardening service.

The expansion plans include a new garage and workspace for teaching woodwork, as well as expanding to a 4,000 square foot café space and kitchen area.

They also include the potential for building a sensory garden which would allow visitors to enjoy a wide variety of immersive experiences.

Sensory gardens have a wide range of educational and recreational applications, including support for those with special needs such as autism or as a form of horticultural therapy.

The charity produces food which goes back to the Solihull community and its members go out and work doing landscaping and turfing for local people.

On any day there are 50 people working on the farm gaining experience to prepare them for jobs in the community.

Many of the farm’s staff are trained carers and provide practical and emotional support for people who can struggle with employment and education.

Charity bosses say they aim to provide more catering and hospitality training to provide wider employment opportunities.

Daniel Adams, manager at the Family Care Trust, said: “We’ve supported over 200 adults with learning disabilities through our work-based training at Newlands Bishop Farm and Community Gardening Services, and provided specialist day care for over 2000 people with memory problems such as Alzheimer’s and dementia at The Blanning Day Centre.

“We’re grateful for the support we’ve had from local businesses and individuals to continually improve our services and facilities.

“The plan is to extend the public opening hours of the café, which will give local people from Solihull and beyond the opportunity to see how we’re helping these young adults. Our current café and farm shop are open to the public.

“We’re asking local businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to support us over the next 12 months.

“Our aim is to organise 25 fundraising challenges. Whether you want to run a marathon, sell cakes or donate raffle prizes, we’d love to hear how you can help us achieve our big fundraising target so we can help hundreds more adults with learning disabilities.”

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