Shropshire Star

CLA Charitable Trust awards more grants in the Midlands

The CLA Charitable Trust has handed out more grants to good causes.

Sophie Dwerryhouse

Dedicated to helping charities who share in its vision of connecting people with the countryside who are disabled or disadvantaged, the CLACT is funded almost entirely by subscriptions and donations from Country Land and Business Association (CLA) members, an organisation which supports nearly 26,000 farmers, landowners and rural businesses.

Now The Biddulph Youth and Community Zone based in Staffordshire and Sunny Skies CIC based in Leicestershire, have both received £5,000 to put towards their proposed improvement projects.

The Biddulph Youth and Community Zone aim to provide a safe, warm and friendly environment for the local community. They provide activities to reduce loneliness and social isolation, improving physical and mental health helping those with low aspirations, providing training, employment and development of skills.

They are using the grant to fund an outdoor learning project allowing attendees to study plants, wildlife and the environment around them. They will have the opportunity to take place in gardening activities, growing vegetables and fruit and gaining information on eating healthily.

Antony Capostagno, Youth and Community Manager, Biddulph Youth and Community Zone said “The project is having a really positive impact upon the local community. Planting seeds, growing their own veg and flowers, our children and young people community garden project is thriving with lots of different sessions for young people to participate it.”

Supporting adults with learning disabilities in the Melton area, Sunny Skies CIC helps them to run their own social enterprise providing work opportunities and development of skills. The money they have received is going to be used towards developing an area of land they acquired in 2023, where they aim to launch a variety of outdoor projects such as animal care, gardening and woodwork.

Pippa Skinner, Director and Support Worker at Sunny Skies CIC, said: “Thanks to the CLA Charitable Foundation we have been able to begin our horticulture project at the Sunny Skies Paddock. The people that we support have been working together to design the allotment area which we received funding for.

“We have sewn seeds to make cut flower arrangements for local businesses as part of our floral enterprises. We have also started to grow vegetables which we can use to make soups and fresh salads in our community cafe. This project is vital for the people we support to be a part of their community, develop valuable work skills and gain confidence.”

CLA Midlands Regional Director, Sophie Dwerryhouse said “It is great to see some substantial amounts being given to charities in the Midlands region, who are working towards making the countryside and environmental activities more available to those who wouldn’t readily have access.”

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