A COMMUNITY-RUN farm has launched a scheme to help adults with learning disabilities after being handed a £4,000 grant.

Lauriston Farm, in Goldhanger, was given the cash from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.

The farm, which uses biodynamic and organic techniques to produce everything on site, has been running a number of taster days for adults with learning disabilities.

The programme allowed them to work alongside staff and take part in gardening, cooking, craft workshops and animal care.

The money was also used to run weekly sessions with Thriftwood College in Chelmsford, which supports students with learning disabilities.

As part of the sessions pupils developed their skills and independence while working towards a number of qualifications.

Spencer Christy, farm director said: “We launched our social farming initiative in 2018 with the aim to integrate adults with learning disabilities into all aspects of the daily farm life and work.

“There is no such facility in our locality and we know the benefits to participants from other settings around the country.

“Lauriston Farm’s co-working sessions enable individuals to become part of the farm team, and engage with the farm environment in a tranquil, safe and supportive atmosphere.

“The funding from Tesco has enabled four individuals to enter into the co-worker programme on a longer term basis and allowed the relationship with Thriftwood College to develop.”

Tesco works in partnership with Groundwork to offer its Bags of Help funding scheme.

The money is raised by the sale of carrier bags and helps fund thousands of projects across the country.

Keith Jackson, Tesco’s Bags of Help manager, added: “Lauriston Farm is a fantastic charitable community benefit society and we’re proud to have played a small part in the valuable work it does for our community.”

Community groups and charities can apply for funding and customers can nominate projects at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.