Hambrook-based charity Empowering Futures has secured the funding to improve disabled access around their local care farm, with the installation of new wheelchair-accessible gates and paths now able to become a reality.

A grant of £3,455 has been donated by the Redcliffe Foundation, via Quartet which is part of a national network of 47 community foundations across the UK that matches people and organisations who want to give money locally with charities and other bodies working to help local communities on the ground.

The Redcliffe Foundation is the charitable giving arm of Chipping Sodbury-based housebuilders Redcliffe Homes. It was founded in 2009 with most of its contributions going towards helping disadvantaged teenagers and environmental issues. 

Maria Needs, founder and trustee of Empowering Futures, said: “We were delighted when Redcliffe Homes responded to the application we’d lodged with Quartet for funding to improve accessibility around our site.

“The grant will be spent on improving disabled access to the site so that everyone has access to the activities that take place, including putting in new gates to make it easier to move around the site.

“The mud control grids used to create safe pathways are very expensive so Redcliffe have funded access for wheelchair users and people with mobility issues who would otherwise have been prevented from attending the farm.

“This is why their contribution is so amazing and enabling - albeit for a minority group of people, but a group that is often missed from mainstream provision. We are so grateful, and the users are elated.

“Many of our clients who use the site are vulnerable, coming from deprived areas and suffering from mental health problems, such as autism, learning difficulties, ADHD, or specific learning difficulties and disabilities.

“We offer nature-based craft activities, woodworking and the planting of produce and herbs, alongside forestry school for children with additional needs. We also offer horticulture, woodwork, wood craft, ancient crafts, willow weaving and crafting activities as well as therapy animals.

“Our care farm enables us to ensure people who come to us are able to enjoy green space, and with our innovative goat walking activities everyone also gets some exercise, whether they realise it or not.

“We are excited to begin improving access around the care farm using the grant from Redcliffe, and very much appreciate their support.” 

Redcliffe Homes funds a wide range of individuals and groups within the local community.

Charities supported by Redcliffe Homes recently include Barnardos, Aid Box Community, Disasters Emergency Committee, Young Minds and Action For Children.

Posted by Mandy Parker