19 April 2012 You are here:

Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm marks 100 Days until London 2012

Man standing in the middle of people on bicycles

The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Training Centre at Hadleigh Farm, in Essex, marked 100 days until London 2012 kicks off by inviting British Cycling to hold a skills session for trainees.

The trainees who include people with learning difficulties, loss of confidence or skills following long term unemployment or medical problems have witnessed and been involved in the preparations for London 2012 Mountain Bike event, which The Salvation Army is hosting at the 900-acre Hadleigh Farm on 11 and 12 August 2012.

Today they were delighted to get the chance to have a go themselves at learning some extra skills by joining in with a British Cycling skills session and meeting London 2012 Olympics cycling hopeful and Team Essex Ambassador, Alex Dowsett.

Bradley Craddock, principal of The Salvation Army’s Hadleigh Training Centre, said: "Our trainees are already extremely excited to be associated with London 2012 in this way and are really looking forward to positively engaging with this once-in-a-lifetime event. The Salvation Army has been part of Hadleigh community for more than 120 years, since William Booth first established a Farm Colony here to rehabilitate destitute and homeless people. Since then we have provided unparalleled opportunities to thousands of vulnerable people to improve their lives and reach their full potential. Engaging with the London 2012 Olympic Games is a genuine highlight for people who haven’t always had the best deal in life so far.”

The trainees also enjoyed meeting members of Team GB Mountain Biking.


Trainees with catering skills also gained real-life work experience providing refreshments for international elite riders training on the course and back at Hadleigh Training Centre for media at the announcement of the legacy plans for Hadleigh Farm and Hadleigh Country Park after London 2012.  These plans aim to deliver a range of social, economic and environmental benefits by incorporating the adapted Olympic Mountain Bike course into enhanced facilities for visitors to Hadleigh Country Park and Hadleigh Farm. 

Within a proposed new community ‘Hub’, The Salvation Army aims to provide more life skills and employment training opportunities for the individuals with whom it currently works and trainees will gain invaluable work experience by helping to run the café at the Visitor Centre. In addition The Salvation Army will extend its support to local families experiencing difficulties and provide them with a gateway to the benefits of the natural environment.