Opportunities provides the chance for people living at Sandy Hill and in other areas of Farnham to meet others, develop skills and, in many cases, seek employment. Its aim is to provide a better future for lone parents and for their families. At present it has about sixty members and is managed by Carol McFarlane who has grown the project from a small group five years ago to its success today. Members are invited to attend classes in IT and to gain formal qualifications. They also have the chance to learn other skills such as numeracy and first aid, to keep fit and to learn floristry and other crafts. An after school club has also been set up for members’ children and where they too have opportunity for art and craft workshops.
The members are keen to work with others in the community and invite older people to join them each month. An advisor from the Farnham Citizens Advice Bureau is present at Hale and other centres to meet individuals. As part of the project, members fund raise to cover part of the cost of summer activities for their families. They hold an annual Christmas lunch for friends and supporters, preparing food and making gifts and decorations. The Hazelhurst Trust has contributed to the costs of Opportunities for five consecutive years and we consider it to be exemplary and a model that could be applied elsewhere.