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Helmshore farm in £6k bid to continue vital projects
6:00pm Thursday 26th December 2013 in News
A HELMSHORE farm has issued a plea for £6,000 so it can continue running projects for blind people and those with mental health issues.
Cronkshaw Fold Farm, a working farm and study centre in Alden Road, offers community projects as part of its charitable arm.
Run by mother and daughter team, Joy and Dot McCarthy, the farm began working with mental health charity Rossendale Rubicon in September as part of an Essex University study into how people with mental health issues can be helped by being in the countryside.
Members of Rubicon created a sensory woodland trail by making wooden hedgehogs, wind chimes and a willow sculpture, for people from Henshaws Society for the Blind to experience.
Dot said: “There were a lot of tears when the people from Rubicon saw the partially sighted people exploring what they had made.
“People noticeably came out of their shells and seemed much happier. Many of the people from Rubicon were scared about coming to the farm before they did.
“But they were helped so much by being outside that they are now requesting to come back.”
Following the success of the ‘wild walk’ and the discovery of Christine Cartwright, an expert knitter from Rubicon, a project to insulate the farm’s yurt with a woollen tapestry began.
Inside the yurt, a knitted mural depicts the changing seasons, and outside, a tapestry of textures imitates the surrounding woodland.
Dot said: “People have sent us knitted patches from as far away as Germany and the Swiss Alps and anyone who knits us a metre square patch gets a free ticket to stay in the yurt for one night.
“We only ask for a small donation from people who come and have a cup of tea or slice of cake to visit the trail.
“But the funding we were given for the project last year was a one off sum, and without more, we will not be able to continue these community projects.”
Joy said: “I'm looking for funding for two projects for adults and young people with mental health issues involving gardening, a grow, pick, cook and eat together project.
“This is an Eden Project for building communities and reconnecting people to local food production.
“The other project is for using singing to make people feel better.”
To help fund the projects, call 01706 218614, or send a cheque to Cronkshaw Fold Farm Trust, Alden Rd, Helmshore, BB4 4AQ.
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