WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine recently visited a farm-based charity that aims to create a brighter future for adults with learning disabilities. 

Mr Brine toured the Boaz Project at Hill Farm in Sutton Scotney which has a barn fitted out with a kitchen, craft room, carpentry and engineering workshops. 

He also looked around the greenhouse, large vegetable garden, fruit cages and polytunnels. 

During his visit he met members and was able to discover the rich variety of activities on offer, including tending a flock of 120 egg laying chickens and walks with donkeys.

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Boaz manager Stuart Palmer explained some of the challenges facing vulnerable members, such as lack of employment opportunities, loneliness, and cuts in social care funding. 

Mr Brine said: “I can’t believe it but this was my first visit to Boaz and I really liked what I saw. A focused team not trying to do anything flashy but just helping some fantastic members of our community and their families. There were just so many things going on the day I popped in and I understand it is always like that.

“Thank you to all those who fund Boaz and volunteer their time to make it such a special place.” 

Mr Palmer said: “It was great to be able to welcome Steve and show him around our project. Less than one in six adults with learning disabilities is in paid employment. At Boaz, we are committed to a more inclusive society where we can all be productive and feel valued.” 

The local charity was set up in 2007 by the visionary foster parents of a young man with Down syndrome to help young people with learning disabilities to continue to learn and develop their potential after leaving college. The Christian-based charity has grown over the years. Today more than 30 adults with learning disabilities attend Boaz on different days of the week. 

The Boaz Project is always on the lookout for new volunteers to pitch in alongside members and staff.

No qualifications are needed, just a desire to help. 

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