Peak District education centre expansion gets £40,000 boost from JCB

A Castleton outdoor learning centre for young people is set to begin work on expanding its facilities thanks to a major donation from one of the region’s biggest employers
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Digger giant JCB has shovelled £40,000 across the Peak District to the Lindley Educational Trust to support the renovation of a converted barn complex at the Hollowford Centre, which hosts visiting groups for day trips and residential stays.

The charity helps young people from across the UK gain life skills personal and professional confidence through outdoor adventures, and also runs outreach services in Manchester and Sheffield to broaden the horizons of those from deprived backgrounds.

Trust chief executive Andy Robinson said: “We have 10-12,000 young people through our doors each year and a key part of our development plans is to expand our camping experiences. The renovated barn will provide a better learning space as well as shower and toilet facilities to support the use of our camping field.

From left, JCB and Lindley staff Harriet Graves, Andy Robinson, Vanessa Hallam, Matthew Pickard, Tristan Mann, Biddy Egan and Neil Fowkes.From left, JCB and Lindley staff Harriet Graves, Andy Robinson, Vanessa Hallam, Matthew Pickard, Tristan Mann, Biddy Egan and Neil Fowkes.
From left, JCB and Lindley staff Harriet Graves, Andy Robinson, Vanessa Hallam, Matthew Pickard, Tristan Mann, Biddy Egan and Neil Fowkes.

“The pandemic hit young people particularly hard, and we know that spending time at places like Lindley can be life-changing – breaking the cycle of low aspiration and deprivation that we see in our inner-city youth centres.”

The trust was itself hit hard by the financial impact of Covid-19, and leaders feared they would have to shelve their expansion plans, so the injection of funding from Staffordshire-based JCB has been especially welcome.

Andy said: “It’s fantastic, it will really help us to bounce back from the terrible financial impact of the pandemic and ensure that the current generation of young people do not miss out.”

JCB is one of the trust’s regular corporate clients, with groups of apprentices and graduates regularly visiting for valuable development exercises.

Neil Fowkes, early career talent manager for the company, said: “We have worked with Lindley for a number of years now and we are delighted to be able to support their amazing growth plans.

“The trust is a brilliant place for our apprentices and graduates to learn valuable team working and life skills that really impact on their personal and professional development.”

He added: “Lindley’s charitable work in Manchester and Sheffield is also outstanding and a shining example of how an organisation can truly make a difference to the lives and aspirations of those who are less fortunate in life.”

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