A FARMING project in Winsford that give adults living with learning disabilities 'meaningful purpose' has been given a special and unexpected award.

Let’s Farm is a collaboration between Darnhall farmer, Rosie Lee, and learning disability champion Nicola Colenso, who strive to help over-18s living with learning disabilities avoid the 'cliff-edge' often faced when they leave full-time education.

While working as a farm ‘ranger’, the project gives these adults a chance to learn valuable skills, build meaningful relationships, and to experience all the ups and downs of life on a real, 100-acre working farm.

On Thursday, March 16, Rosie and Nicola got a surprise when the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Jeannie France-Hayhurst, dropped in unannounced to present them with a special award.

Northwich Guardian: High Sheriff of Cheshire, Jeannie France-Hayhurst, with 'Jeannie' the lambHigh Sheriff of Cheshire, Jeannie France-Hayhurst, with 'Jeannie' the lamb (Image: Nicola Colenso)

Nicola said: “We were extremely shocked, overwhelmed, and very proud to have such fantastic recognition for the outstanding work the staff and farm rangers are doing at Let’s Farm.

“The High Sheriff of Cheshire presented us with an award that reflects the appreciation of the residents of Cheshire, in recognition of great and valuable service to the community.

“She was here officially last month for our open day, and while she was here, we named one of the new lambs after her. While she was here this time, she took the opportunity to call in and pay her a visit.”

Northwich Guardian: Rosie Lee (left) and Nicola Colenso (right) of Let's FarmRosie Lee (left) and Nicola Colenso (right) of Let's Farm (Image: Nicola Colenso)

Their certificate states: ‘This award was made by the High Sherriff of Cheshire to Let’s Farm in recognition of great and valuable services to the community.

‘The reward reflects the appreciation of the residents of Cheshire for this contribution’.

The High Sheriff, Jeannie France-Hayhurst, said: “We're privileged to have such as place as this in Cheshire, which gives people a chance to focus on the things that really matter.

"I’m a farmer’s granddaughter myself, and I’m convinced that the farming life is better than anything for mental health and well-being."

Nicola added: “Leaving full-time education can be a bit of a cliff edge for young adults with learning disabilities. They’re not necessarily walking straight into a 40-hour per week job.

“It’s about giving them meaningful purpose – something to get up for in the morning that’s not tokenistic, and makes them feel valued.”