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02.05.03
Objective One helps to cultivate opportunities at Drym Valley care centre

Adults with severe mental health problems and learning difficulties who attend a specialist day care centre in Praze are being given the opportunity to learn and practice horticultural skills and to sell their produce over an extended growing season. This is thanks to two new poly tunnels purchased with the help of investment through the Objective One gateway fund - Cornish Horticulture Enterprises (CHE).

Run by the centre's owner Lynn Roberts, activities at the Drym Valley centre include livestock welfare and care, conservation and land management, horticulture, pottery, craft and social skills.

The centre's clients had expressed an interest in growing and producing plants, herbs and vegetables and so to meet this need the centre has worked closely with Cornwall College to run a basic horticulture course for its students.

The two poly tunnels purchased with CHE's investment will allow an extended growing period during which the centre's clients can practice their newly learnt horticultural skills to grow more produce for sale directly to visitors, at local markets and four other day centres.

Visitors and customers will be encouraged to visit the day centre. It is hoped that the interaction with members of the public, along with the skills gained through the course, may give some of the centre's clients the confidence to move on to further horticultural training and gain nationally recognised qualifications to improve employment prospects.

Drym Valley Centre is a new and unique rural activity resource, run by experienced and dedicated staff with an emphasis on clients learning new skills. Lyn Roberts said: “We are looking to promote independence, increase confidence and improve social skills. We provide a stimulating and enjoyable environment by promoting creativity and encouraging clients to fulfil their potential.

"We are delighted to have received the assistance from Objective One as without the investment we would not have been able to purchase the tunnels. We have found the whole process efficient and accessible, from the early stages of discussing the project with Roger Whilding, the facilitator at CHE, to making the application and then receiving the grant.”

Roger Whilding said: “In cost terms this is a relatively small project, with a total spend of £1,200, of which CHE has invested £480. However the impact of this investment for the clients of the centre will be very significant, opening up new opportunities to grow and sell produce for an extended growing season. We were delighted to be able to assist this project.”

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Editor's notes:

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)

EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.

EAGGF aims to:

• Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land

• Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas

• Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas

• Help to keep communities thriving in rural areas

• Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage

For further information contact:
Roger Whilding
Cornish Horticulture Enterprises
01626 890405

Lynn Roberts
Drym Valley Centre
01736 850707

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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