The Houghton Project (a Herefordshire farm where people with additional needs learn rural skills)
won first prize in the sweet cider category and second in the sweet perry category at this year’s
International Cider and Perry Awards. From hundreds of entries The Houghton Project beat off
strong competition from makers all over the world.
The Houghton Project is a not-for-profit organisation providing opportunities for people with
learning difficulties, mental health issues and those facing life challenges. It was established in
2002 to teach rural skills and also facilitate new friendships, build confidence and improve mental
and physical wellbeing.
“Society places expectations on people based on narrow perceptions of their disabilitiesTim James-Moore who set up this inspired community education project.
and abilities. We want to highlight that with the right kind of support there is so much more that
can be achieved. Our main aim is to provide meaningful activity and encourage engagement.”
“The wonderful thing about cider and perry production is that it allows everyone to be involved and have a role. With tasks ranging from picking and mashing the fruit, through to making and bottling the cider and perry, it’s very inclusive. Many of the people we work with have been marginalised and running projects like the cider and perry production gives a tangible objective with a beginning, middle and an end. Everyone should have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and strengths and then to see where those opportunities might take them.”
James Hewitt, who has been attending the Houghton Project for 3 years, was the lead on the cider and perry production with encouragement and guidance from support worker Taylor. James has cerebral palsy and has had a pacemaker fitted. He describes how before he started coming to The Houghton Project he lacked direction and felt he was being led astray.
“The project and winning the prizes has played a massive part in overcoming the difficulties I faced and has given me the self confidence to help others.”
Now, The Houghton Project would like to find outlets for their award winning cider and perry.
“We’re looking for distribution in the right environment where our very special drinks will beexplains founder Tim James-Moore
If you’d like to get in touch or find our more visit www.houghtonproject.co.uk