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£400,000 boost for Trust Farm as new facilities open

From left Karen Turnbull Amelia Trust CEO, Dennis Hellyar DHA Architects and Trustee Stephen Wigley. Picture by Nick Treharne

Amelia Trust has launched its revamped café and improved facilities for disabled people to encourage more visitors to enjoy the popular farm charity in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Designed by Barry-based Dennis Hellyar Architects (DHA), the refurbished Green Leaf Café is flourishing and looking forward to a busy summer offering refreshments to guests exploring nature and relaxing in the rural woodland setting and interacting with the animals.

“We are hugely proud of our splendid new café and other facilities,” said Amelia Trust CEO Karen Turnbull. “This is a very exciting development and step forward for the Trust. We can now offer visitors refreshments in an attractive, modern setting and I am sure this will be a draw to bring people in and help them enjoy their experience here even more.”

The farm welcomes all visitors and provides opportunities for young people with learning difficulties who may be struggling in mainstream education.

A new, fully equipped Changing Places Toilet will also enhance the experience for disabled visitors, she added.

The Trust also offers corporate team building events for groups from local businesses, which are proving increasingly popular. “People really enjoy coming and enjoying a busy, positive, outdoor experience in this beautiful setting,” added Ms Turnbull.

Dennis Hellyar of DHA said he was delighted with the outcome of the Welsh Government funded £400,000 project. “We wanted to open up the space that was available in the building and use it more efficiently. I feel we have achieved this, creating an attractive and welcoming environment which will enhance the experience of those who come to this wonderful facility,” he said.

The building has been designed and built to the highest environmental standards with low energy, air source heating with the emphasis on quality, he added. Building works were carried out by Highland Services of South Wales.

Amelia Trust opened 33 years ago when it was established to create a rural lung for disadvantaged youngsters to experience the countryside, therapeutic work which continues to this day. There are alpacas, donkeys, rabbits, ducks, pigs, goats and many other animals to see and interact with, as well as woodland walks in the 160 acre holding. People can also stay overnight in its 30 bed bunkhouse.

It is hoped that the new café and facilities will bring in more visitors to support the Trust’s vital work in the community. “We rely on donations, fundraising, grants and payments for the services that we deliver to continue our charitable work for disadvantaged and vulnerable people and providing a countryside sanctuary for all to enjoy, so this is a very important step for us,” added Ms Turnbull.