Guernsey Press

Grow Ltd - ‘A very special place and a tribute to the hard work of so many’

GROW Ltd threw open the doors to its redeveloped Coutanchez facility yesterday, exactly two years to the day since handing it over for renovation.

Left to right, Lt-Governor Lt-General Richard Cripwell, Louise Cripwell, Julia and Guy Hands with Karen Blanchford at the official opening. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32578294)

Hundreds of islanders gathered to watch Lt-Governor Lt-General Richard Cripwell officially open the site, with Grow patrons Guy and Julia Hands also in attendance along with Grow staff and crew members.

Visitors were able to explore the entirety of the facility, which includes a canteen, a recreation room, a large workshop and a new modernised greenhouse.

Lt-General Cripwell said he was delighted to be able to help open the site.

‘It’s wonderful to see the project come to such magnificent fruition.’

‘My wife Louise and I saw a lot of Grow’s temporary Avondale site, which was very different, however the essence of both sites remains the same, which is to support and help people.’

‘It’s a very special place and a tribute to the hard work of so many.’

Mrs Hands said that, while there were obstacles along the way, the Grow team had never shied away from the task in hand.

‘Challenges were overcome with a smile, which is testament to the type of organisation that Grow is.’

She hoped that the facility would enable members of the crew to gain experience and confidence, which could lead to future employment in commercial sectors.

‘Grow will be able to support more islanders than ever before, and provide training opportunities in retail, hospitality and horticulture.’

Grow chairman Mark Dunster thanked Mr and Mrs Hands for their help in pushing the project forward, and said that there would be a hive of activity at the site, with more opportunities than ever for training and learning.

‘The plans will involve co-locators with similar-minded charities coming here, and will allow us to increase the number of people we can help.’

Grow crew member Simon Ozanne, who has worked with the charity for 39 years, did the honours of cutting the green ribbon to officially open the site with Lt-Gen Cripwell.

He thought all of the new facility was very nice.

‘There’s still more to be done, but I’m really happy with everything so far,’ he said.