JCA steps in to help Oaklands RDA and Chicken Run

30 November 2011

JCA, a local building engineering services company, has donated money to Oaklands College Riding for the Disabled (RDA) so they can buy a new pony and to the popular Chicken Run project for students with learning difficulties so they can buy new fencing, a shed and more chickens.

JCA became aware of the work Oaklands College does in the community, supporting students with physical or learning difficulties, through a work colleague, and were so impressed by the RDA and Chicken Run project that they wanted to help out financially.

Oaklands RDA were keen to buy a new pony to replace ‘Bob’ who has been a popular RDA pony for many years and is now close to retirement. Sarah Moreland, MBE, Head of Business and ICT said: “This donation is so important because we need very special horses and ponies for our RDA group which caters for a wide variety of age ranges and learning difficulties.  Riders form close bonds with the horses and gain immense confidence and improve their communication skills through the RDA group.”

The Chicken Run Farm Shop project is designed to give learners with moderate learning difficulties the chance to gain work experience and boost their skills to prepare them for future life. Learners sell free–range eggs on the market every Wednesday and are responsible for every stage of the process - from looking after the chickens to dealing with the general public in the market.  

Steve Lewill, Head of Department at Landmark, said: “Being able to buy fox-proof fencing, a new shed and some more chickens is very important to keep this project running successfully. The Chicken Run Farm Shop project, which is a key part of the College’s Landmark provision, enriches their education while offering them skills that they can use to gain employment and live independently later on in life.”

Dean Cocklin, a JCA Director, commented: “Both of these projects are so worthy of help and I was amazed at the work that goes into providing these opportunities for young people. Visiting here today has been a real eye-opener and we would like to continue to support Oaklands in the future.”