A country escape for low-income communities

Elise Austin | 20.06.14

The glorious weather of 'Flaming June' really showcased the inspiring grounds of Trafford Hall during my visit last week.

Joined on my charity visit by Danielle Rorison of LandAid Foundation Partner McLaren Property, we were welcomed to the 18th century manor house by Trafford Hall's Chief Executive Sally Wyatt.

Since 1991, the hall has been used as a centre to benefit people from low-income communities. The charity runs a comprehensive programme of training programmes to develop life skills and confidence in young people, supporting families and empowering community volunteers. 

Walking around the hall's beautiful rooms and grounds - which perfectly complement the surrounding countryside - it’s easy to understand the great impact the three night residential courses have on the participants. All communal areas have been built to be social spaces such as the LandAid-funded kitchen conversion in the stable block encouraging families and young people to put nutrition and cooking skills into practice. 

We also had the pleasure of meeting Jon Findlay and Jo Sharman and hearing about the positive effects of the programmes, including anecdotal stories about initially disruptive young people collaborating and supporting others during the course. Jon showed us the biomass heating technology installed at the premises, which not only heats the house but through a LandAid grant also connects to the stables, making them inhabitable all year round. 

The trip finished with a wander down to the field populated by bright and colourful structures installed by young people on courses, leaving a permanent mark of their creative accomplishments.