Clervaux Fold is a dedicated family centre working with families based at the nearby Catterick Garrison. It is made up of a variety of craft workshops, kitchen, dining area and lounge, as well as newly planted gardens to grow produce for the kitchen and carefully selected flowers.
A Positive Community Atmosphere
The Clervaux Fold has been funded by an HM Treasury LIBOR Grant and builds on the successful programmes supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund. Therapeutic activities will give families positive, practical experiences, which help them to bond and restore their sense of well-being. Children benefit from the freedom and safety of the site, which offers a wide range of sensory experiences so important to healthy, holistic child development.
A positive community atmosphere has been created through the interaction and friendship of Civilian and Military families alike. This is especially the case for families with children with special needs. Clervaux Fold is operated by Ruskin Mill Trust which has developed its research led way of working in special needs education and social care for over thirty years. Clervaux Fold works with the Trust’s method of Practical Skill Therapeutic Education (PSTE).
What Families Say
“They were able to taste food that I thought they would never try before and every session was something new for them to do.”
“My eldest son was able to bond with his dad and carry out woodwork. Together they built a stool, of which my son was very proud and this has gained him a craft badge in Scouts. Attending the farm has built our children’s confidence so much.”
“We felt like we were part of one big family.”
“Lots of laughs were had when feeding the animals especially when I got covered in pig slop! During the morning the children went off exploring and I chose to sit and do some weaving.
I’m not sure how but three hours passed by when the bell sounded for lunch and I can honestly say I was in a place of total peace.”
This new and exciting provision will offer an array of additional outreach opportunities from Family Craft Days, Parent and Toddler Groups, Veterans’ Craft Days, Home Crafts for Parents, Parent and Baby Groups, Mild Mental Health Activity Days and IT Free Days. Our hope is that The Fold will be an open and welcoming place where people can come to relax, be immersed in nature, learn new skills and have fun.
Military Families at Clervaux
The military families who come to The Fold are essentially no different from anyone else who meets the PSTE method and they engage in the same land and craft activities. They may have additional cares such as: the strain of army life, the dislocation of postings, the worry of separation especially in times of conflict. The Fold addresses these cares implicitly rather than explicitly. We have found that the beautiful surroundings of Clervaux do much of our work for us.
Children can run freely and safely in fields with no fear from traffic, while parents can relax, often wanting to do little else but sit and chat. More personal requests (some of the families have children with special needs) are addressed professionally and personally by the staff. For the past seven years we have been working with mixed groups of military and civilian families which allows for up to thirty adults and children to visit Clervaux one Saturday per month.
A Typical Day
The day begins at 10.00am with coffee and biscuits. Our farmer, Gilberto, then takes the whole group on his round of feeding the animals. Collecting the warm, freshly laid eggs is a firm favourite for many of the children. This leaves enough time to begin a craft session. Pottery is always popular as well as woodwork, with textiles providing a warm, homely space.
Several times a year guest craft workers demonstrate their expertise in willow weaving, mosaics, recycled jewellery and lino printing. Lunch is served at 1.00pm and is cooked from biodynamic produce from our own garden as far as possible. There is then time to continue the craft session after lunch before the day comes to a close at 3.30pm.
To find out more about Clervaux Fold, please contact Lone Helliwell, Clervaux Fold Manager on +44 (0) 7812 234 372 | +44 (0) 1325 729 860 ext 3004 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Clervaux Fold, Clow Beck Eco Centre, Jolby Lane, Croft-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, DL2 2TF