The Earthworks Story
25 years ago our journey began with the closure of five large psychiatric hospitals that were situated in and around St Albans. Residents made the positive move into supported, community-based housing. But links with the community were lacking.
In response to these changes in social care, the Earthworks steering committee was born. We aimed to meet the aspirations of people with learning disabilities for social involvement and creative occupation. Our driving principle was, and still is, to develop a place where people of all abilities work together as equals.
Extensive consultation with service users, carers and social services revealed land-based activity to be the most popular creative occupation. After five years' preparation and consultation, we leased a two-acre site of waste ground in Hixberry Lane, St Albans from the District Council.
Over 25 years Earthworkers, supported by staff and volunteers, have transformed waste land into 3.5 acres of beautiful and flourishing eco-gardens including habitat, production and sensory spaces as well as a purpose built eco-building. Supported by volunteers, local schools and community groups, we are people of all abilities learning and working together. We are involved in a number of projects both onsite and in the community.