A HEREFORDSHIRE care farm has received a double boost with a £20,000 grant and free windows donated for its new headquarters.

Longlands Care Farm, near Bromyard has been awarded the grant by the Landau Trust, while window supplier Timber Windows Direct were so impressed with the work they do with young people that they are making and delivering the last two large windows absolutely free.

Landau Trust is distributing European Social Fund grants of between £5,000 to £20,000 to small and voluntary organisations to help unemployed people advance towards employment, education and training, so Longlands was delighted to receive the maximum grant.

Michael Plonski, company director of Timber Windows Direct said: “I met Julia and I was overwhelmed by the things that she does for those young people. I couldn’t even think about charging her for the last two windows – that would not be right.

"There is a time to make money and a time to do something good, and this was a moment to do something good.”

Longlands is a working farm where teenagers who are excluded, experience barriers to learning or have mental health issues can come and learn new skills and gain qualifications, while increasing in self confidence and esteem.

They are supported and mentored by a qualified and experienced team, who can and do help turn young lives around.

Julia Evans, founder and CEO of Longlands said: “The pandemic dramatically reduced our student numbers but it has freed me up to progress the Round House, and slowly but surely it is taking shape. Instead of working on it with our students, a small team of family and friends have stepped up. We are mainly working on building the straw bale walls and then 'cobbing' them.

“How do you eat an elephant ? Bite by bite. Each bucket of cob mix (clay, sand and straw), kneeded, slapped or smeared against the straw to create the solid walls is a step in the right direction, and it is taking shape to be a very special and unique new care farm base.”