Crowdfunder launched to raise £175,000 for Holt Heath farm project to help children with Special Educational Needs - The Worcester Observer

Crowdfunder launched to raise £175,000 for Holt Heath farm project to help children with Special Educational Needs

Worcester Editorial 29th Feb, 2024 Updated: 29th Feb, 2024   0

A CROWDFUNDING campaign has been launched to raise £175,000 for a project in Holt Heath which supports children struggling to thrive in mainstream education.

Bonterre CIC – which is based on a rural smallholding and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – provides education and wellbeing services to young people aged between eight and 18 from across Worcestershire and Birmingham.

The children have a range of needs including Special Educational Needs, such as ADHD and autism, other mental health conditions and some who have experienced abuse or trauma.

The project’s development officer Jo Sullivan said: “We provide tailored activities using the land, farm animals and nature to engage with children, teach them vital life-skills and build their self-confidence, helping them to move forwards in their lives.

“We also run community wellbeing group sessions and workshops for adults.

“We work to reduce social isolation and help those suffering with anxiety or depression to learn new skills and connect with others in their community.”

Currently, Bonterre CIC works with around 300 children and adults every year across all education and community programmes. But, Jo added, since the Covid-19 pandemic, there had seen a significant increase in demand and the number needing support.

“We are in desperate need of suitable buildings and facilities to continue the work we do and reach more people.

“We currently only have a collection of sheds, shipping containers and repurposed lorry backs for buildings, making it really hard to provide indoor space where everyone can get warm and dry during the wet winter months.”

The cash raised will help fund a new building on site.

It would include a larger kitchen to allow Bonterre CIC to cater for increasing numbers and provide a warm space for all the students to sit down to eat lunch together.

Jo said: “For us eating together is hugely important, for some students we provide their only hot meal of the day and it creates a sense of belonging to a wider family which they may be missing.

“The building would also provide additional space to host more group events and activities for the local community, helping everyone to get out into the countryside and connect more with nature.

“Any amount people can afford to give would be very welcome.”

Visit to donate to the cause.

Anyone wanting to organise a fundraising event for the cause can email Jo at [email protected] or call her on 07965 247494.


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