New Hope sets its sights on £1m small-holding to support disabled 16 to 25 year olds

Jean Wilson, founder of New Hope in Ronkswood, is launching a new ambitious campaign to raise £1m. Picture by Nick Toogood 34146781021

Jean Wilson, founder of New Hope in Ronkswood, is launching a new ambitious campaign to raise £1m. Picture by Nick Toogood 34146781021

First published in News by

AN AMBITIOUS campaign has been launched to raise £1 million to fund a small holding which will support young people aged 16 to 25 with severe disabilities.

Jean Wilson, founder of New Hope, said she knew they had a "mountain to climb" in order to raise the funds but she was motivated by the concerns of parents of children they already support about care in later life.

She aims to have the money raised in three years and will be looking at land in Claines or Ombersley for the project.

New Hope Farm will offer daytime and overnight care as well as activities such as woodwork, animal care, apprenticeships as well as independent living skills.

It will provide follow on care for some of the 91 children currently supported by New Hope, Wells Road, Ronkswood.

Mrs Wilson, aged 52, said: "When we were having our business planning day, we all independently came up with the same thing - what happens to our children when they leave us?

"At the same time, parents were talking to me about the same subject and collectively we came up with the idea of the age specific care farm which will be somewhere rural, peaceful and supportive.

"There are some fantastic organisations around but what we were hearing from our parents is that they can't find anything age specific for their child.

"Everyone there will be between 16 and 25 because it is really important they are mixing with their own age group.

"It really hit home to me when one of the mums said that if it wasn't for her child's disability, they wouldn't be with people in their 50s and 60s.

"They, of course, would know people that age but wouldn't be mixing with them every single day and I thought that was quite poignant which is why we decided to set up New Hope Farm.

"All the feedback we have had from parents has said that if we set it up, they will come."

Mrs Wilson set up New Hope in July 2010 as she could not find suitable care for her daughter Emily, now aged 11, who has autism and severe learning disabilities.

The charity and Mrs Wilson have received numerous awards and last month she was recognised by PM David Cameron having been announced as a Points of Light.

To fund the farm, Mrs Wilson will be applying for grants but was doubtful they would receive much so the majority of the money would need to come from fundraising.

Families who have children at New Hope have already begun to raise money and people can also buy £5 "bricks" on a virtual farm being built on the charity's website.

Mrs Wilson will also be reaching out to businesses in the city to see if they can help fundraise for the build.

"We are going into this with our eyes wide open.

"It is going to be a big struggle but the community has been great in supporting us over the four years since New Hope was set up and we hope they can support us with New Hope Farm."

To buy a virtual brick text FARM52 £5 TO 70070.

Alternatively, donations can be posted to New Hope (Farm), 35 Wells Road, Worcester. WR5 1NN.

Anyone wishing to speak to Mrs Wilson about supporting the charity should call 07847 377760 or email jean.wilson46@yahoo.co.uk.

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