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Fund-raising success for woodland charity that works with young gang members

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:47 27 May 2019

Staff and volunteers at Eden Rose Coppice celebrating reaching their fundraising target  Picture: Eden Rose Coppice

Staff and volunteers at Eden Rose Coppice celebrating reaching their fundraising target Picture: Eden Rose Coppice

Archant

Eden Rose Coppice Trust can continue its support of young people after successfully reaching its £40,000 target.

Jo Brooks, (centre) with volunteers at Eden Rose's Ipswich site Picture: PRECISION MARKETINGJo Brooks, (centre) with volunteers at Eden Rose's Ipswich site Picture: PRECISION MARKETING

The Trust has developed woodlands in Ipswich, Sudbury, Cornard, which previously were in poor condition and has created green oases for those requiring end-of-life care and people living with challenging issues such as dementia. In recent years, it has also used a woodland environment to help over 100 young people each month - many from pupil referral units who are outside mainstream education in danger of being involved with drugs or have anti-social behaviour and mental health issues.

Most of this work takes place in Brickmakers Woods in central Ipswich - previously a place where drug dealing and prostitution took place that the charity has transformed into a haven where disaffected youths can get a fresh start.

READ MORE: Charity transforms town centre woodland and works to change lives

Wildlife pond created in Brickmakers WoodWildlife pond created in Brickmakers Wood

Caring community

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But with money running short, and this work in danger of coming to a halt, the Trust formed a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society and invited people to invest. It said the £40,000 target would enable it to qualify for match-funding, which will make all the difference, and provide a self-perpetuating long-term funding stream.

Herb garden in pond in Brickmakers Wood   Picture: Brickmakers WoodHerb garden in pond in Brickmakers Wood Picture: Brickmakers Wood

Now the Trust has announced the money that has come in has reached this target.

"We were in danger of having to stop our work with young people or reduce our services drastically, and we are so grateful to our kind and caring community who have invested so far," said Jo Brooks, the manager at Brickmakers Wood, where the learning programme encompasses the restoration of biodiversity, bespoke woodwork education, woodland conservation and bush craft sessions.

Self-sustaining

"We work with the schools and are a big part of pushing on the life skills of the young people we work with," she added

"Some of the money will go towards taking down some dangerous trees in the wood and doing other essential work on site.

"We can now also improve the workshop that is in a building that hasn't had any work on it since World War II and will be able to put in another toilet, so we can accommodate more people coming to the woodland. We have a three-year plan to create a self-sustaining social enterprise."

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