A Cornish farm that also runs a day care facility for adults with learning difficulties has won a prestigious award for farm diversification.
The Duke of Cornwall’s Award is aimed at recognising successful and innovative farm-based diversification businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Pictured is Lynn Roberts from Drym Valley Centre being presented with the Duke of Cornwall’s Award by HRH Princess Alexandra at the Royal Cornwall Show here credit: Celt Creative.
This year, Drym Valley Centre at Trenoweth Farm, Praze was named as the winner and was presented with the award, a signed certificate and a £1,000 cash prize provided by the Duke of Cornwall, by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra at the Royal Cornwall Show.
The Roberts family have farmed at Trenoweth Farm for over 50 years. It was during the mid-1990’s that Lynn Roberts, who had historically worked away from the farm for the NHS as a mental health nurse.
“The barns in our yard were redundant and were becoming derelict. I carried out some market research to explore the idea of developing a day service in a rural setting for adults with additional needs.”
The family made the decision to develop the barns having secured some EU funding and Drym Valley Centre was created.
The business started in 2000 and has developed to currently offer day care for 55 adults per week with learning difficulties, mental illness or dementia.
The service provided to the community, with adults coming from across the county, is a vital for those who benefit from it and the continued links between the business and the working farm, providing some hands on education.
In addition to the farming links the centre offers a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, pottery and horticulture.
“All of the centre users enjoy seeing the other farming activities and ask, “when are Johno’s spuds ready?”, “Is that hay of silage?” and “what’s going in that field next?”.
“We have slowly and securely grown into an established, safe and respected day service. I cannot express how proud I am of how this has developed. I owe this to the support of my family, staff and the wonderful people who use the centre,” Lynn concluded.
One of the panel of judges, Catherine Mead, commented on how this is a diversification providing a totally inspirational approach transforming the lives of adults by spending time on the land.