A VIP guest officially opened new facilities at a sheltered farm scheme near Winchester for adults with learning disabilities.

Andrew Kent, one of Hampshire’s Deputy Lord-Lieutenants, visited the Boaz Project at Hill Farm, Sutton Scotney, on November 26. Mr Kent was invited to cut a ribbon to mark the opening day.

He met members, volunteers and staff and was shown around the smallholding and barn.

The project to upgrade the site included new wheelchair-accessiblity, raised horticultural beds, a resurfaced yard and an egg processing room with a ramped access.

Manager Sally Ratcliffe said: “The new surface to the yard is much safer; not a trip or slip hazard in wet or snowy weather.”

The log cabin style egg processing room is a multi-use facility, expanding the range of activities that can be comfortably carried out come rain or shine. Future plans include adding a heated, covered veranda providing shelter for outdoor tasks.

Mr Kent thanked the grant awarding bodies for making the improvements possible, including The Baily Thomas Trust and the Henry Smith Charity.

The Boaz Project is home to 120 free range, egg laying hens. Daily activities include collecting, stamping and boxing the eggs for sale.

Members also help to grow a variety of high quality fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. Other activities include cooking, handicrafts, and woodwork.