Trust fund grant helps charity teach young people life and garden skills

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A Denbighshire allotment project by children’s charity Barnardo’s Cymru to help young people stay out of trouble and learn new skills has been backed by a £500,000 charity fund.

The Gardening and Allotment Project at Brynhyfryd School, Ruthin, has been run by the charity to help young people from across Conwy and Denbighshire, including many with disability, create an accessible garden for fruit and vegetable growing.

The project has been supported by Crimebeat North Wales with a £500 grant they received from the Eric and Dorothy Leach Charitable Trust which is administered by leading law firm Swayne Johnson whose managing director, Sarah Noton, is Under-Sheriff for Clwyd.

She said: “The initiative by Barnardo’s Cymru and Crimebeat is one which the High Sheriff, Lady Elizabeth Hanmer, is closely involved with and as her legal officer I am delighted that the Trust has been able to support Crimebeat.

“Barnardo’s Cymru are doing wonderful work with young people in the Vale of Clwyd, reaching out to them and giving them a real sense of self-worth through learning new skills and being involved in community projects.”

The garden created at Brynhyfryd includes a nature path, a wildflower area and a sensory garden full of smells, colours, tastes and sounds including a sound board created by young people on the project.

Project Leader Matt Weedall said: “We aim to provide diversionary activities for young people at risk of getting into trouble which provide them with skills and confidence.

“It’s about getting them outside and giving their lives some structure and we’re doing it through community work which gives them a taste of the world of employment.

“We have had the allotments at Brynhyfryd for several years now and we are also working with the Youth Shedz project at HWB Denbigh where we have the tools and equipment for them to make items for the allotments because the weather isn’t always conducive to being outdoors.

“From this time of year we’ll be preparing the ground, digging over and planting so it will be getting busy there.”

Michael, 14, from Denbigh, has been involved with the Barnardo’s Cymru projects and he said: “I helped make the sensory board with the range of sounds it produces and I’ve made a planter and laid decking as well. It’s a good project.”

Shaun Hughes, of Swayne Johnson, said: “The Eric and Dorothy Leach Charitable Trust was set up in the 1930s and has assets of over £500,000 with the investment income used for annual donations totalling over £20,000 to a range of charities across Wales and into England.

“The organisations supported by the Fund include Chester Zoo and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, Wales Air Ambulance, Age Connects North Wales Central and the Alzheimer’s Society.”

For more on Swayne Johnson go to http://www.swaynejohnson.com/