Vol­un­teers needed for learn­ing dis­abil­ity farm

Train­ing: Staff re­quired to help de­velop trainees

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY KIERAN BEAT­TIE

A farm that sup­ports peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties is ap­peal­ing for more vol­un­teers for its 2017 sea­son.

Easter An­gus­ton Farm in Cul­ter, which is op­er­ated by VSA, of­fers in­di­vid­u­alised train­ing place­ments for adults with ad­di­tional sup­port needs.

Trainees can work to­wards achiev­ing cer­tifi­cates in ar­eas such as look­ing af­ter live­stock, cater­ing, con­ser­va­tion and gardening.

Now VSA is ap­peal­ing for vol­un­teers to give up some spare time to help those with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties to achieve their goals.

Neil Robert­son, so­cial en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment man­ager for VSA at Easter An­gus­ton said: “The whole farm is very busy right now. We’re in the process of plant­ing 7,000 straw­berry plants and we’re get­ting some new an­i­mals.

“We have 12 trainees with mild to mod­er­ate learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties right now.

“Vol­un­teers are im­por­tant to the farm be­cause the farm is sup­ported by do­na­tions.

“We of­fer free en­try to the pub­lic, but to run a work­ing farm and look af­ter and de­velop the trainees who are here re­quires a fair lot of staff.

“We have 72 acres, so there is plenty of space for vol­un­teers to make a great con­tri­bu­tion.”

There is a wide range of op­por­tu­ni­ties for any­one in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved – rang­ing from work­ing with an­i­mals, to be­ing based in the gar­den cen­tre or the cafe.

Mr Robert­son added: “I my­self started as a vol­un­teer here. I spent so much time vol­un­teer­ing that I fell in love with the place and the VSA ac­tu­ally gave me a job.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to give some­thing back to the com­mu­nity and get a tremen­dous per­sonal re­ward for your time as well.” Any­one wish­ing to vol­un­teer can visit www.vsa. org.uk

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to give some­thing back”

HELP: From left, Gwen Robert­son, Elaine Michael and Neil Robert­son at Easter An­gus­ton Farm, Peter­cul­ter, are seek­ing new vol­un­teers

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