Lottery grant for Harpenden youth organisation

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable a Christian youth organisation to share the story

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable a Christian youth organisation to share the story of its headquarters. - Credit: Sarah Allison

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable a Christian youth organisation to share the story of its headquarters.

YWAM (Youth With A Mission) is based at the Highfield Oval in Harpenden and has received a grant of £10,000 to tell the tale of the former NCH children’s home which opened in 1913 and trained hundreds of young people in printing, carpentry, dressmaking, shoemaking and farming.

The project, which was launched last Saturday (18) at YWAM’s summer fair, will also explore the natural heritage of the Oval, which includes ancient woodland and an orchard.

Michael Green, of YWAM Harpenden, said: “Highfield Oval is a beautiful site and has a fascinating past. We want to make sure that the children who grew up here a century ago continue to be remembered. At that time the Oval was practically a self-contained community, with its own school, workshops, farmland, orchard and chapel. We are glad to be able to share the history and natural beauty of the Oval with the local community in this way.”

He added: “There is also a real connection between the original aims of the children’s home and YWAM’s work overseas today.”

Much of YWAM’s work is in Uganda where it helps to find and support homes for children who have lost their parents to AIDS. The charity also runs a fruit tree planting scheme in the same area, providing families, local schools and other community organisations with sources of income.