Rede/Chevington: Charity to expand its offer with move
A CHARITY which was once threatened with closure is embarking on an exciting chapter in its history.
The Millennium Farm Trust (MFT) was established in 1996 with the aim of providing work and training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in farming, conservation and the rural environment in Suffolk.
After being based at Rede Hall Farm, near Bury St Edmunds, it is set to move to a new home at Broad Green Farm in Chevington where it will be able to expand what it can offer.
The charity was threatened with closure in 2010 as there was a shortage of trustees, but following an article in the East Anglian Daily Times highlighting its plight enough were recruited.
Charity trustee Nicola Hunter said: “The main reason for the move is the new site offers much bigger opportunities and a wide range of services so we can offer looking after animals as well as farming and the horticultural and agricultural stuff.”
At Broad Green Farm, which is owned by Jocelyn and Ed Pettit, there are goats and pigs and the charity would be able to have chickens and other small animals, Mrs Hunter said.
She added how the move would also allow the charity to increase the number of days it runs from two to five. This means it can offer more people with learning disabilities the chance to learn new skills.
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Mrs Hunter said: “There’s an awful lot of work to be done to get the land ready for our beneficiaries with learning disabilities so what we are trying to do is to get some volunteer working parties together.”
The charity is looking for people who can help prepare the site over the summer ready for the autumn. Jobs include clearing the site, taking the pot holes out of the road, converting a store and rabbit proofing the land.
Mrs Hunter said the charity needed to raise �5,000 for the move, adding how they are applying for a grant. She said one of the main costs would be putting up the charity’s headquarters, which initially will be portable buildings.
Mrs Hunter said: “I think things are going steadily forwards in the right direction and, as I say, it’s a step at a time, but being able to move somewhere we can operate five days a week and have animals there and everything it is a great leap forwards.
“And a huge thank you to the Oakleys at Rede Farm who have been our very generous hosts over all these years.”
To volunteer to help with the work at the new site call Mrs Hunter on 07739 166881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit www.m-f-t.org.uk