Family firm ‘excited’ at saving Welsh Harp Education Centre

Boss of Careys construction firm says the centre is cherished by his employees

The boss of a family-run firm who has rescued a cherished environmental education centre from closure has spoken of his excitement at being able to help children explore the wonders of the great outdoors.

John Carey Jr, managing director of Wembley-based Careys construction firm, stepped in at the eleventh hour to stump up the cash for centre, which lies at the edge to the 110 acre reservoir and contains classrooms, a nature trail and an adventure playground.

Mr Carey, who grew up in Brent and went to Our Lady of Grace Primary School, in Dollis Hill Lane, Dollis Hill – less than a mile away from the centre – said Welsh Harp ‘means so much to our employees’.

He said: “I have got a lot of cousins who came to this centre as children and they all loved it.

“I feel we have contributed to the community in terms of employment and work for the past four decades, but to go that extra mile to help the community is fantastic.

“Our education foundation was looking to engage in education, and then the great opportunity to co-fund this centre came up. We are really pleased we can help the community in this way.”

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He also pledged to invest more educational resources into the centre.

The company’s generosity will mean Brent pupils will continue to get the opportunity to experience the great outdoors and use the centre for science field trips. Last year, nearly 4,000 students visited it.

Kara Millen, education consultation at Careys, said: “We want to get children engaged with the environment. You never know where the next great idea is going to spring from – is just might come from a day at Welsh Harp.”

Jo Ward, a Year 5 teacher from Claremont Primary School, Claremont Road, Cricklewood, whose pupils were enjoying a morning of pond dipping at the centre, said: “A lot of children don’t get the chance to get out and do hands on things. Centres like Welsh Harp are really is important.”

Cllr Ann John, Brent Council leader, said: “This is a great community partnership. Careys has an environmental arm that is very keen to do this and help educate children.”