STAFF at a Ladywood care farm are eagerly anticipating the completion of a brand new centre which is hoped will benefit the community.

A huge sum of around £180,000, raised through grants and donations, has been poured into creating the facility at Gloverspiece Minifarm, which includes a selection of rooms and a new kitchen.

However, work is not finished yet.

It is expected the bigger space will allow Gloverspiece to offer more training opportunities to its students, who can currently study for qualifications in subjects including animal care, hospitality and catering.

In addition, many more groups of school pupils, elderly residents and children with learning disabilities will be welcomed in to benefit from working with animals.

Lynne Duffy, founder and volunteer manager at the farm, said: "We set up as a care farm five years ago and we were operating out of the existing timber barn.

"As we have got more and more service users and classes visiting, our facilities needed to change to accommodate them all. It means we can take more students on.

"We have been raising money for the last two years for a new farm building. It has got a large room which can be used either for training our students or for other organisations to rent.

"I'm pleased, I think the building looks really nice."

One of the key benefits to Gloverspiece's new facility is that companies will hire its rooms, generating income to help keep the care farm running.

"The demand is there and also the letting space that we have got will provide a substantial income for the farm," said Mrs Duffy, whose passion for animals began with horses.

She continued: "Our ongoing costs are huge and we need to cover that somehow. We had to find some form of income because rescue centres are very difficult to fund."

Established in 2010 as a rescue farm for unwanted animals, Gloverspiece now employs several people who are helped by many volunteers.

Based on the idea that working with animals and the land can have therapeutic benefits, Gloverspiece is also used by school clubs, children with learning disabilities and many other community organisations.

The animals are also frequently taken out on roadshows around fetes, open days and to retirement homes around Droitwich.

And it is home to many creatures including horses, pigs, chinchillas, chickens, sheep, goats, alpacas.

Mrs Duffy added: "We find that people quite often relate better to animals and people with learning disabilities and autism seem to relate well to animals as well.

"I think it brings a sense of calmness for people and also if they are looking after animals they are doing a worthwhile job. The more handling the animals get the better.

"All of our animals are extremely friendly and love the attention."