Charity looks back on year of developments

Freemasons and Rotarians presented a car to Community Link during 2010. (S)
Freemasons and Rotarians presented a car to Community Link during 2010. (S)

A RIPON charity is reflecting on a highly successful year as it looks forward to exciting new debelopments in 2011.

Ripon Community Link and the Walled Garden Scheme is the leading provider of services to people with learning disabilities in Ripon and the surrounding area and has notched up some notable achievements over the past 12 months.

Kate Rogata, director of Ripon Community Link, said, “This has been an exciting year of development for the charity, enabling us to increase the range of services we can provide to people with learning disabilities.

“In addition, we have continued to invest in and develop the Walled Garden as a free community amenity with woodland orchard walks, a wildlife viewing station and better parking facilities.

“2011 is already looking very positive as we have secured funding to build a larger shop and a visitor centre at the Walled Garden with financial support from the North Yorkshire Aggregates Scheme and Northern Green Networks.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the charity this year and we look forward to working with you next year.”

During the past year Ripon Community Link has:

• Developed a group of people it supports, with funding from Awards for All, to become community educators – providing talks and making a DVD about living with a learning disability.

• Expanded its Supported Employment Service and secured additional funding for the service from LloydsTSB foundation and North Yorkshire Learning Consortium.

• Secured funding from the Big Lottery to provide training for people with learning disabilities, carers and support organisations across North Yorkshire.

• Received funding from the Ripon Rotary Club, Ripon Freemasons and the Bruce Wake Charity to buy a new vehicle to transport people to their activities.

• Established a carers’ support group to provide additional support and information.

The Walled Garden Scheme has:

• Supported 20 people to complete a range of training modules with funding from the North Yorkshire Learning Consortium.

• Purchased a crew cab tipper (Rural Access to Opportunities Programme funded) enabling it to double the amount of gardening and parish council maintenance work it can provide in the community and offer more work placement opportunities.

• Purchased a soil steriliser (RAOP and Scots Hill Trust funded) to produce compost, chipping and mulch for sale.

• Designed and positioned more than 50 signs (RAOP funded) on site with greater information on the historical and environmental aspects of the scheme.

• Purchased a small tractor (RAOP funded) to manage the woodland.

• Enabled staff to achieve a number of qualifications (RAOP funded).

• Improved access by resurfacing of entrance and creating defined visitors parking, funded by North Yorkshire Aggregates Scheme (NYAS).

• Created a number of accessible training rooms, funded by NYAS.

If you would like to know more about Ripon Community Link and the Walled garden Scheme, visit www.riponcommunitylink.org.uk.