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Routes 2 Life Horticulture and Carpentry

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The Opportunity

To support Routes 2 Life, a RDP-funded programme that supports individuals and groups develop skills in horticulture, traditional countryside skills and carpentry.   The programme delivers training for individuals hoping to develop their employment prospects, self-esteem and general well being. Routes 2 Life is targeted to deliver training (formal and informal) to beneficiaries.

The Aims for Routes 2 Life include:

  • Increased confidence and skills within disengaged rural clients.
  • Increased employability potential in local rural residents
  • Increased awareness of growing techniques
  • Increased knowledge of green/ land based practical skills
  • Increased understanding of the values to locally grown produce
  • Increased health benefits of local rural residents

Support for this programme will help us continue engaging with low skilled and disengaged residents.  Beneficiaries join us at our sites where staff teach them techniques relevant to their career aims and interests.  Vegetables grown at the horticulture site and craft items produced from the carpentry workshop are sold to contribute to the running costs of the programme but the programme is only 78% funded by RDP so we would welcome support from any organisation who could contribute to the running costs of the programme. 

Beneficiary case study

Chris 30 (volunteer since mid 2010)

“I used to really be into fitness and sport.  I played football, did an NVQ 2 in leisure and worked as a fitness and training instructor.  Because of my mental health problems I had to give that up. I am now living in supported accommodation and my manager suggested volunteering because I wasn’t doing anything.   She thought Routes 2 Life would suit me because I used to with my father on his allotments.

On my first day I thought everything was too much of a challenge.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to stick out the day.  But I did and as time went on I enjoyed it so much I wanted to stay longer. 

The best job is doing the greenhouse work and I have also just built a herb garden. I really like a challenge and being able to achieve it makes me feel great.

The Location

We have two locations, a horticulture site in Cwmfelinfach and a carpentry workshop in Aberbargoed. However, clients from designated rural wards throughout Caerphilly County Borough attend both sites. Routes 2 Life staff will sometimes travel to other areas in the Borough to carry out development work with a community. Over 80% of the Caerphilly County Borough is designated as rural. Routes 2 Life will work with any residents who want to engage from rural areas. Rural wards are: Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Aber Valley, Argoed, Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen, Crumlin, Darran Valley, Llanbradach, Maesycwmmer, Moriah, Nelson, Newbridge, New Tredegar, Penyrheol, Pontlottyn, St Cattwg, St James, Twyn Carno

In-Kind Support Required


Financial Support Required


Value of Support Required

Routes 2 Life is 78% funded by Rural Development Plan.  We apply to external funders to meet the shortfall in costs and also sell goods produced from both sites.  Any financial support from an organisation would contribute addressing the shortfall of £16,000 to deliver the programme until September 2014.  This will contribute to both capital and revenue costs which include salaries, materials, maintenance of machines and equipment, land rent, training of beneficiaries and reimbursement of their travel costs.

Local Name and Contact Details

Rhiannon Perkins, RDP Programme Manager, Groundwork Caerphilly

rhiannon.perkins@groundwork.org.uk 01495 222605 

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