North-east charity builds new office from straw bales

© SuppliedYoung adults with learning disabilities have been helping to build a new office from straw bales.
Young adults with learning disabilities have been helping to build a new office from straw bales.

A group of young adults with learning disabilities are helping to lay the building blocks for a north-east charity’s future.

Beannachar Camphill Community, located near Banchory-Devenick, is a farm set in the scenic surroundings of Deeside.

The charity, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, provides training for adults aged between 17 and 30, with 36 people currently supported by the organisation.

And most of them are currently involved in an ambitious project to build a new office from straw bales.

The new building is 1,076sq ft in size and will consist of a reception, three offices, a meeting room, toilet and small kitchen.

© Supplied
Young adults with learning disabilities have been helping to build a new office from straw bales.

The entire project will cost about £130,000 from start to finish, with the charity still looking for about £10,000 to complete the construction and fit-out.

Hazel Macklin, senior administrator for the organisation, said: “We started in August and are in the process of getting everything water-tight so it doesn’t get damaged while construction stops over the winter.

“Everyone we work with has either been involved in either the fundraising or the practical work that’s being done just now.

“They all love it. You can see how much they are getting out of it and the joy on their faces.

“It’s quite a unique project. It’s all about being environmentally sustainable and while there are other buildings like it in other parts of the country I don’t think there are many here.”

As well as being beneficial for the adults who are learning new skills and getting opportunities they might not otherwise have had, the building will also provide a much-needed replacement for the organisation’s office.

Currently the management work out of a garage building on the site which is no longer fit for purpose.

The development is scheduled to be completed by spring next year.

For more information visit www.beannachar.co.uk.

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