An exciting project to support young people in the Market Drayton area struggling with conventional education has been given pilot funding by the Shropshire Housing Group recently.
The Fordhall Community Land Initiative is running the project which works with small numbers of young people from the local area. Conservation activities around the farm are used to develop their skills, confidence and self-esteem, helping these young people to achieve some direction in life and offer support to them in their career progression.
They may be putting up fences, mending benches, repairing tools, creating children’s play areas or conservation work on and around Fordhall.
It is something that has remained on our ideas list for some time, and when a chance conversation with the Shropshire Housing group occurred last year, it all began to take shape.
It has been proven that outdoor activities provide valuable alternative, often non-competitive, avenues for achievement, as well as opportunities to develop independence and self-reliance. Through successfully facing up to the challenges which outdoor activities provide, overcoming fears and apprehensions along the way, we have seen how young people can make major strides in confidence.
Working closely with the Grove School and County Training we are seeing a great demand for experiences which work with young people away from the classroom environment.
It is an ideal partnership and has been generously funded through the Shropshire Housing group who are committed to providing community benefit projects in their communities and encouraging sustainable communities.
Mike Price is our new Youth Coordinator at Fordhall Farm and he has been fantastic at working with the young people, improving their self confidence and teaching them many new skills on the farm – we may even be able to get them to write their own blog…
Although this remains a pilot project (due to end in March), there is hope that funding will continue and more opportunities will be created for young people at Fordhall Farm.
We have our fingers crossed!
It is normally difficult to get our youngsters to smile for the camera, but there was a chance shot of Chris and Aidan, with Mike (top right), after building a willow den for children in our picnic area (first image of the blog).
One of our fab young people checking his work after building stepping stones for visiting children to play on