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Almond Valley MSP Visits Groundbreaking West

Posted: 26th February 2019

Cyrenians Farm Community were delighted to host Angela Constance MSP (Almond Valley) for a visit yesterday Monday 25th February.

The East-of-Scotland based homelessness charity operate 4 residential communities, including the Farm Community. Home to up to 8 young people, many of whom have experience of homelessness or vulnerable housing, the community is a constantly evolving home. Utilising the peer volunteer model, our farm community welcomes residential volunteers from across the globe for 6 to 9 month placements.

Sharon Rae, Senior Key Worker (left), and Angela Constance MSP (right).

Providing a range of opportunities for individuals to develop confidence and crucial life skills, our farm community acts as the first step towards a more settled lifestyle.

During her visit, Angela spoke to the young people about their experience of living in the community, including learning to cook, eat and live together.

She took away one of our fantastic Veg Bags, which are a popular aspect of the social enterprise at the farm and are delivered to workplaces and hubs across West Lothian and Edinburgh. Bags include potatoes, onions, carrots, fresh mixed salad, root veg and a ‘Wild Card’ produce depending on the time of year and what’s in season.

Angela said, “I always enjoy visiting the Cyrenian Farm Community just outside Kirknewton in my constituency.  For 50 years the Cyrenians have supported people who have either been at risk of or who have experienced homelessness.

It was good to meet some of the young people being supported at the community as well as staff and the residential volunteers.   The work placement volunteers come from across the globe, some of whom have experienced homelessness themselves, are well placed to support and welcome young residents to the farm.

During their stay on the farm the young people will receive help to build their self-confidence, develop life skills whilst making a meaningful contribution to their local community. The social enterprise activities provide locally grown organic produce for sale and work is ongoing to redevelop a walled garden one of the oldest in Scotland.

I congratulate everyone involved with the Cyrenians and wish them well for the future.”

Nicole LeBlond, Cyrenians Communities Operations Manager said, “It was a pleasure to host Angela and give her a taste of Community life. It’s great to see MSPs supporting what we do here.”

To find out more about the Cyrenians Farm Community, please visit our website

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