Throughout 2021, Oswestry based Aico’s CSR programme, ‘Aico in the Community’, will focus on helping young people to tackle prevalent issues such as deprivation, education and mental health. Aico will support several local organisations, charities and schools through donations and volunteering.

For the first of the fundraising efforts for 2021, Aico colleagues took part in a virtual quiz, bringing the team from across the UK together and testing their knowledge on various topics such as music, pop culture, TV and film. Colleagues were raising money in support of the Social Farm Projects within the Marches Academy Trust and managed to raise a fantastic £1494.86 altogether.

The Marches Academy Trust is a multi-academy sponsor based in Shropshire and encompasses a variety of primary, secondary schools and sixth forms. The Social Farm initiative involves the students of the Trust helping out with planting within the allotment, maintenance and cleaning of the farm as well as animal care. This allows for the teachings of practical and valuable skills and is especially important for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

Established versions of the Social Farm with the Marches Academy Trust have been extremely successful and are home to chickens, guinea pigs and goats with plans to welcome more animals in the future. Students have ensured the continuation of their unique learning experience by developing the farm and caring for the animals in their break and lunch times as well as during after school clubs.

A spokesperson for the Marches Academy Trust said “We cannot thank Aico Ltd enough for their community support. Donations & grants like this are what helps our Social Farm projects within The Marches Academy Trust continue to grow and benefit our pupils. It is fantastic to see a former pupil, Lily Ellis supporting us and helping pupils who were in her shoes grow!”

Aico Community Liaison Lily Ellis commented “After first supporting the social farm initiative in 2020, we had to continue and see where the Marches Academy Trust wanted to take the programme in 2021. The skills they teach the students are so important and we are delighted to be able to help in this way.”

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Pictured: A social farm within the Marches Academy Trust