Northchurch Allotments Development Update
Sunnyside welcomed the Mayor of Dacorum – Cllr Terry Douris – to officially open the newly developed Northchurch site, the first of Sunnyside’s, over 30 years ago now. Mayor Douris adopted Sunnyside as his mayoral charity and has supported us over the last 2 years helping us to realize the development vision for Northchurch, fundraising with bingo nights to pub quizzes. By moving online we were able to invite people to listen and watch the Mayor cut the ribbon and show some of the site.
The vision was always to build on what was already at the heart of Sunnyside Northchurch.
We all wanted to keep more animals, such as goats and sheep to provide therapeutic and practical skills for the trainees with learning disabilities.
In addition, we wanted to upgrade the farm shop, build an office and meeting room space and to make the site more attractive to the general public. With an aim to further develop local partnerships with the surrounding schools and other organisations we would open-up the site for these groups to take part in activities, that will benefit both them and us.
We want this to become an innovative service for young people and adults with learning disabilities as well as a providing a range of services to the community.
The project has received funding grants from Chiltern LEADER fund, Baily Thomas, Paradigm, the Shanly foundation and the Hertfordshire Community Foundation. Support in kind was generously given by Wates with the paving and the kitchen, doors and bathroom facilities from Osbornes and Travis Perkins – thanks goes to Sarah Askey for empathic support of Sunnyside.
We were lucky to find excellent local architects at D-Lab, and equally excellent builders in Datum Point to realise the plans.
Northchurch Parish Council provided funding for a defib and general advice and support of the project. Thanks went to the trainees and team who continued to work through all the building and then on, into the period of the pandemic.
These are fantastic new, accessible facilities for the trainees to enjoy and having a space to sit after working on the land and the animals they share it with, will be therapeutic in itself.
This project recognises how important it is that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to society, and it celebrates what people can do rather than any disability.
What a great base to continue to develop and grow the Sunnyside values.
PART FUNDED by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Leader)