Recent statistics from NHS Digital found that only 5.1% of people with a learning disability receiving long-term support in 2021 were in paid employment. In Cornwall, this figure drops to 3.5%. One of our education services determined to change this trend is Boscawen Farm.

The farm, which is set across several acres of land in Truro, offers opportunities for people with learning disabilities to achieve land-based skills and qualifications in horticulture, animal care, wood, and metalwork.

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

In the first year, the new service will support 85 young people to gain qualifications from OCN London and City & Guilds.

Artist’s impression of the training kitchen

We will also use the kitchen to help develop skills and independence for 123 people across Cornwall that already access our services.

Mark Dolton, Boscawen’s Farm Manager said:

We’re delighted to have received this generous funding from the Wolfson Foundation.

Young disabled people are more at risk of unemployment, facing multiple disadvantages as a result of the pandemic.

Our new service will open up more opportunities and will be transformative for the people we support in Cornwall.

Students at Boscawen Farm will be involved in the food production process from ‘field to fork’ using vegetables, herbs, fruit and dairy produced at the farm using organic farming methods as ingredients. Students will also work to address food poverty in the local community by donating fresh fruit and vegetables when harvests are abundant.

Young disabled people face multiple disadvantages and are at risk of being a lost generation due to the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market and their education.

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

Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

The training kitchen at Boscawen Farm will create new routes to qualifications, employment and independence for young people across Cornwall.

We are delighted to help United Response in their admirable mission to give young disabled people the best possible start in life.