Training for people with learning disabilities in Cornwall at Boscawen Farm

A new training kitchen is opening in Truro to help people with learning disabilities find jobs in hospitality.

Recent statistics from NHS Digital revealed that only 5.1% of people with a learning disability receiving long-term support in 2021 were in paid employment. In Cornwall, that figure drops to 3.5%.

United Response, a national disability charity, is trying to change that trend with its service, Boscawen Farm.

The farm, which spans several acres of land in Truro, offers people with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop skills and qualifications in horticulture, animal care, wood and metallurgy.

Now, with funding from the Wolfson Foundation, United Response has been given the green light to also develop a training kitchen, to offer accredited courses in hospitality and catering.

A United Response spokesperson said: “Young people with disabilities face multiple disadvantages and risk being a lost generation due to the impact of Covid-19 on the job market and their education.

“This new service promises to protect future employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities in Cornwall.”

Boscawen Farm is situated on several acres of land in Truro

People will be trained in catering and hospitality

People will be trained in catering and hospitality

In the first year, the new service aims to help 85 young people gain qualifications with OCN London and City & Guilds.

The charity will also use the kitchen to help develop the skills and independence of 123 people across Cornwall who already have access to United Response services.

Boscawen Farm students will be involved in the ‘field to fork’ food production process, using as ingredients vegetables, herbs, fruits and dairy products produced on the farm using organic farming methods.

Students will also work to address food poverty in the local community by donating fresh fruits and vegetables when harvests are bountiful.

Mark Dolton, Boscawen Farm Manager, said: “We are delighted to have received this generous funding from the Wolfson Foundation.

“Young people with disabilities are at higher risk of unemployment, facing multiple disadvantages due to the pandemic. Our new service will open up more opportunities and be transformative for the people we support in Cornwall.

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “The Boscawen Farm training kitchen will create new pathways to skills, employment and independence for young people in Cornwall.

“We are delighted to support United Response in its admirable mission to give young people with disabilities the best possible start in life.”

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