Students take over St Albans market stall

THE HISTORIC market in St Albans welcomed a student-run business to their community yesterday (December 1) when students from a local college opened their own stall.

Selling eggs, logs and kindling, the students from Oaklands College braved the cold to get first-hand experience of selling produce from their Chicken Run Farm Shop to the public. Portfolio holder for culture and heritage, Councillor Sheila Burton, also joined the students to launch the stall.

The Chicken Run project, established at Oaklands College, helps Landmark learners with moderate learning difficulties get work experience and essential life skills by encouraging them to be responsible for running their own farm shop selling eggs.

The students are involved at all stages of the process and are required to look after the chickens as well as run the farm shop on the Smallford Campus.

Zoe Hyde, a lecturer at the college, said: “It’s such a fantastic experience for the learners to run and manage their own market stall and it offers them the kind of work experience they can’t easily get at college.

“It gets them into their local community and helps them with social skills, money-handling skills and lots of other things that will be extremely valuable to their education.

“Running a stall at St Albans market is a dream come true for them and we hope that the public will enjoy meeting the learners and, of course, buying the eggs, logs and kindling for sale.”

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The Chicken Run Farm Shop stall will be at the market most Wednesday mornings, located at the Catherine Street end. All money raised is invested back into the project and their education and the logs and kindling come from a sustainable source on the Smallford campus.

The Farm Shop opens between 12noon-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and also sells chutneys made by the catering students, Christmas cards made by the Landmark students, apples from the orchard and second-hand books.