AFTER more than four years of preparation, planning and fundraising, Save the Family’s new Together Village at Cotton Hall Farm near Chester is preparing to open its doors.
A topping out ceremony to mark the village’s official opening will be performed on Saturday, October 1 by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs. The Very Rev Professor Gordon McPhate, Dean of Chester, will also perform a blessing at the family site.
A time capsule, containing family photographs and messages of support will be buried on site, only to be reopened in 80 years.
Cotton Hall Farm will replicate the activities of Save the Family’s existing family village at Plas Bellin in Flintshire.
It will provide homeless families with access to temporary accommodation, adult training facilities and personal support to help them re-settle back into the local community.
The new site will provide additional homes to accommodate homeless families, made up of one, two and three-bedroomed houses and apartments. Other facilities will include an early intervention nursery for babies and toddlers.
The farm’s renovated Dutch Barn will also provide the focus for adult training activities, including workshops, a computer training suite, cookery skills kitchen and community hall for resident use, with a small sports hall for a variety of activities, outdoor play areas and an outdoor sports pitch.
Save the Family’s unique approach in keeping families together has attracted nationwide praise from those concerned with helping the homeless and poverty-hit families.
The lack of affordable housing, jobs and access to education, as well as uncertain economic conditions, has led to an increase in requests and referrals from homeless families for Save the Family’sŠhelp.