Hope is growing in sensory garden created by young team from Prince's Trust

A sensory garden at a Lincolnshire care farm is bringing hope to the team of young people who are creating it.

The Askefield Project in Friskney has been welcoming back clients after lockdown, as well as accommodating this Prince's Trust Team Project.

Askefield received a Lottery grant for the garden, which is a safe space aiming to support client's mental well-being.

Now produce will be grown in a colourful environment, decorated with hand-painted plant labels and other eye-catching mobiles and garden decorations.

Young people on a Prince's Trust programme creating a sensory garden at the Askefield Project in Friskney.

The sensory garden was overgrown when the the team of 12 arrived but by the end of the two-week community programme, the area has been weeded and is already looking an attractive space.

Prince's Trust based in Boston offers programmes with experience and qualifications for young people from all over the county.

Amy Needham has been the team leader for the project at Askefield. "The past year has been very stressful for young people, who have been in lockdown unable to socialise with their friends, with no jobs available and no positive influence," she said.

"Many are suffering anxiety and mental health issues and so to find somewhere like the Askefield Project where they can gain qualifications in a safe environment, and by talking to us discover what opportunities are out there, is massive.

The decorated golf balls will add colour to the garden.

"One of our young people studied fashion design and another is a graphic designer but it is really difficult for them.

"As well as qualifications the course gives guidance, confidence and helps them make their next step."

Elisha Johnson, 19, of Boston, said the past few months have left her very anxious.

"Coming here has helped me immensely," she said. "I'm able to get some experience under my belt, have something to put on my CV and mix with others my age.

Askefield Farm founder Hannah Blevins saying hello to some of the animals.

"I didn't know anyone when I arrived but we have all become friends."

Since being forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions, it's been a tough year for the Askefield Project.

Lack of funds has meant founders Chris and Hannah Blevins have been working at the Boston Vaccination Centre just to pay the bills and keep the animals on the farm fed.

"It has been hard," said Hannah. "We secured some funding last year and have been able to do work on the car park and build a reception but we've had no income.

Ducks enjoying freedom outside after being confined to keep them safe due to outbreak of avian flu nationally.

"People see things happening but really they have no idea. We are delighted to be back open and the animals are also happy to see people again."

The late arrival of the lambs means the fundraising Lambing Open Day, which was cancelled last year, can take place on April 17, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

Two new funded projects are also to be launched - Challenge Askefield, anything from making pizza to playing steel drums - and the Toolshed, a vital programme serving the local community.

Follow the Askefield Project Facebook Page for more updates on the Lambing Open Day and other projects.

Vinnie Voitsehovski with a lamb which the public will be able to meet at the Lambing Open Day on April 17.