Cooke Scotland Funds Polytunnel to Support Young People

Cooke Scotland pledged its support towards the building of a wheelchair-accessible polytunnel to benefit the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Orkney.

The Cooke Community Benefit Fund aided Aurrida House, an organisation based in Kirkwall which provides a flexible short-break service for those with a learning disability and/or additional support needs, with a significant donation to the project.

Cooke Scotland’s support towards the fundraising effort will enable the young people to enjoy year-round gardening within the grounds of the care facility, to help benefit their wellbeing, physical and mental health.

Senior Social Care Worker at Aurrida House, Sarah Muir, said: “The polytunnel will allow us to still get outside and enjoy gardening while under cover – something that is a necessity here in Orkney, especially during the winter months. Thanks to all the money raised we have been able to add an irrigation system to the plan, and the purchase of gardening tools, plants and seeds.”

Cooke representatives joined fellow fundraisers at the Aurrida House Summer Fair event where they were thanked during the official opening of the polytunnel on 23 June 2024.

The efforts of several local Orkney businesses were praised for coming together and raising over £11,500 for the project.

“The community spirit has been heartwarming, and we are very grateful to all who have donated in any way to help make this dream become a reality,” Ms Muir continued. “The new and improved garden area will benefit many more children and young people, and staff, for years to come.

“The plants, herbs, strawberries and vegetables are thriving, as are those who are benefiting from the polytunnel’s existence. So again, our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved.”

Robert Peterson, Orkney Area Manager at Cooke Scotland, a leading producer of Scottish salmon and major employer in Orkney and Shetland, said: “As a family-owned company we care about supporting the communities we live and operate in. Cooke Scotland’s Community Benefit Fund exists to support a variety of local-led events, activities, and community projects throughout the UK. We are thrilled to fund the Aurrida House polytunnel project to support the wellbeing of the children and young people.

“Cooke’s core purpose is to cultivate the ocean with care, nourish the world, provide for our families, and build stronger communities.”