Staff at Hopkins Homes are no strangers to muddy boots but on Wednesday 23rd May they channelled their energy into a different type of construction project.
Twenty staff from the award-winning housebuilder undertook several vital projects at Deben Community Care Farm, Saddlemakers Lane, Melton, including the construction of a polytunnel, raised beds and fencing around two paddocks.
James Hopkins, Executive Chairman of Hopkins Homes said: “Last year we expanded the Hopkins Charitable Fund and through this we have contributed financially to a wide range of charities and groups across East Anglia. However our intention behind the fund was not just to provide monetary support, our staff want the opportunity to offer some hands on help too.
“It was a pleasure to lend our construction skills to the projects at Deben Farm, helping them to achieve their goals of providing more activities and continuing their work with adults and young people in the community.”
Heather Heelis of Deben Community Farm said: “The main project was the construction of a polytunnel and some raised beds inside it. This polytunnel will be used for a community growing project, giving those who do not have gardens and would like some company the chance to grow produce as part of a team.”
Occupying three acres the farm was established in 2015 as a place where children, young people and adults are welcomed into a caring and nurturing environment that builds self-esteem, confidence and respect whilst providing opportunities to learn new skills. The farm now runs a forest school programme for 40 children from the local pre-school and has recently starting working with two pupil referral units.
“The work we do with young people gives them skills and opportunities which make an important contribution to their development as well as giving them a better understanding and connection to the land and produce around them.” Heather adds.
The day was organised by Suffolk Community Foundation which administers the Hopkins Charitable Fund in the county. Stephen Singleton, CEO of Suffolk Community Foundation said: “We’ve worked with James Hopkins for a number of years and know how passionate he is about strengthening communities and supporting local groups who work so hard to achieve this.
“This volunteer day will not only benefit Deben Community Farm but I am sure it will be an enjoyable day for the team from Hopkins Homes giving them the chance to work together outside of the office.”