Earlier this year, one of the founders of the Little Laura charity in Staffordshire was named runner up in the new Trade Hero category at the Building Better Communities Awards. David Thomas won £10,000 of the £250,000 prize fund and one of his projects is the farm at Walton Hall Academy.
The farm is a vital educational and recreational resource used by pupils at the special school and other community groups, but was in real need of a bit of TLC. The fencing around the duck ponds was rotten and no longer fox proof, the water was stagnant and trees were overgrown.
The Little Laura charity did a site visit in early July and plans were drawn up to replace the fencing so that more ducks and water fowl can live on the farm. An aviary is also going to be built so that the peacocks on site can meet some peahen friends and renovation work is planned for the chicken run.
On Thursday 21st September a team of around 30 volunteers braved the rain and headed to the site to get the renovation work off the ground. It included mainly colleagues from our commercial finance team. Jewson also donated metres of heavy fencing, wheelbarrows and tools for the work.
When we chatted to Amanda Cameron, acting principal at Walton Hall Academy, she said: “The volunteers are absolutely vital. Most schools wouldn’t dream of having a farm. It’s a resource that’s extremely therapeutic for all our students – both as a teaching tool for land based studies, as well as for students with complex sensory needs. Unfortunately running and maintaining the resource is a huge demand on the staff team and we’re at a point where the facility needs some renovation.”
You can follow the progress of the renovation here: www.littlelaura.net