Community boost for the Chicken Run Farm Shop, St Albans

 The Chicken Run Farm Shop at Oaklands College, St Albans, is one of 150 local groups who applied for a slice of the Community Investment Fund for 2011. All applications were carefully considered and more than 40 groups will receive a share of the Fund, with grants ranging from £500 to £2,500.

Set up in 2009, the farm shop project is run by 16 - 19-year-old students with moderate learning difficulties. They maintain the yard, collect and pack the eggs and sell to staff on campus, through the farm shop and to the local community at St Albans market.

"The money from Veolia Water will be used to fence an area of land so that we can expand our flock of chickens to 200, helping to provide a busier environment for the students," explained lecturer Zoe Hyde.

"Working in a shop or similar retail environment is a realistic target for a lot of our learners, and the more opportunities we can give them to practice these skills then the better their chance of gaining employment," added Zoe.

Veolia Water Central Managing Director, Richard Bienfait, said: "Veolia Water is delighted to support local groups through our Community Investment Fund. We increased the fund from £30,000 in 2010 to £50,000 this year as we had so many worthy applications.

"Veolia Water cares for its local community and we hope the Community Investment Fund will make a difference to the groups that have been selected this year," he added.

A committee of Veolia Water staff - many of whom live locally - allocated the money and will be visiting some of the successful projects to see for themselves how the money will benefit the organisations.

Further information about the beneficiaries of the 2011 Community Investment Fund can be found

Photo caption:

Students from The Chicken Run Farm Shop introduce Veolia Water's Elaine Nottage to the chickens.

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Sue Pavey on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected],

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Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

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