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GROW Pushes For Final £1m

£1 million is still needed to complete building works at the GROW site in St Sampsons.

Guernsey’s Rural Occupational Workshop (GROW) is undergoing a complete development.

The charity hopes the work it is doing will secure the future training opportunities of people with learning disabilities, helping them develop a wider range of job and personal skills. 

Two years ago, directors set an ambitious target of raising £3 million to demolish the greenhouses at Coutanchez and rebuild.

Artist's impression of the new GROW HQ

Contractors started work in October once the appeal reached the half-way point.

GROW moved to its temporary home in Oatlands Lane.

The old greenhouses have been removed and will be replaced with modern structures that will provide the space needed for the GROW crew to produce and sell plants and vegetables.

The ground has been cleared and building work is underway on a two-storey Facilities Centre, which will house a gym, cafeteria and a quiet room.

Steelwork is expected to arrive on site shortly.

"At the moment we're doing general groundworks, ready for the steel at the end of February. Everything's going really well.

The cafe is about to have its slates installed with "solars" to give GROW green energy. We're kind of designing a bit as we go so they'll end up with a finished product particular to them."  - Gareth Billion, site manager.

Work is progressing well on site

A workshop will provide training in carpentry, metalwork, painting and craft.  A neighbouring retail training are will operate as a shop where crew can build their skills and confidence to sell directly to the public.

A training cafe - available to visitors - will help crew members learn to prepare and serve food.

In addition, there will be training rooms, offices and a small launderette.  The charity hopes to create a 'disability hub' by offering space to other similar causes.

Plans for GROW's redevelopment

The new-look GROW HQ is due to be finished in the spring of 2023, if the final £1 million needed can be secured.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this stage in the project, we certainly couldn’t have done it without their generosity and practical support.

Now, we reach out to the people of Guernsey to help us raise the final £1m and guarantee our plans for the future become a reality." -Marguerite Talmage, GROW’s director.

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