Bumper grant for disability charity

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A CHARITY which helps more than 200 young adults with disabilities is celebrating after being given a grant for almost £500,000.

The Parchment Trust scooped the £420,000 windfall as part of a Government scheme to help groups in need of additional funding.

And the cash will mean the charity can carry out a major redevelopment of a dilapidated Victorian farm house at its Ore Place Farm horticulural project on The Ridge.

The revamp will include improved toilet facilities, an extra classroom and a semi-commercial kitchen, while the money will also fund a rainwater collection system and, it is hoped, solar heating and a biomass boiler.

A delighted John Cosson, chairman of the trust, said: “We had outgrown our existing facilities and the grant enables us to make substantial improvements to meet continuing demand.

“The improvements also mean that we can host other groups, providing another facility for the local community. It’s part of our philosophy of showing that disabled people don’t just take things from the community but also give something back.”

He also paid tribute to Hastings MP Amber Rudd who smoothed the way when it looked as though bureaucracy might hamper the grant money actually being transferred to Parchment.

Ms Rudd said: “We are fortunate to have the Parchment Trust in our town. It does fantastic work supporting young people with particular needs. It was a pleasure to be of help and it is probably the most satisfying thing I have done since becoming MP.”