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Little Gate Farm
  • Horseshoe Lane
    Beckley
    East Sussex
    TN31 6RZ
Supporting people with Learning Disabilities & Autism into paid employment.

Little Gate Farm is a registered charity in East Sussex.  We support people with Learning Disabilities & Autism into paid employment. We run 3 projects... 

  • Work Training for adults with Learning Disabilities
  • Supported Employment for adults with Learning Disabilities
  • Young Rangers Holiday Club for children and young people with Learning Disabilities

Until 2013, when we set up, learning disabled adults who wanted to work in our area, were supported, by our local council & other voluntary organisations into unpaid volunteering posts. We knew they could, with training and support, work to a high standard and we felt they should be paid for their work just like anyone else. So far, we have supported 20 people into paid work in schools, cafes, offices, care homes and more. We are the only organisation in our area which supports Learning Disabled adults into paid work.  We are just about to launch a new Apprenticeship scheme for young adults with Autism. 

The Need   

Young adults with Learning Disabilities face challenges not faced by other young people. They are excluded from opportunities including education & employment. They face discrimination & abuse from people who do not understand their needs or abilities.  At present only 6% of adults with Learning Disabilities are in paid employment in the UK. This compares with 95% of the general population. The areas which we serve, Hastings and Bexhill, are in the 10% most deprived in the UK.

We support each person holistically which means we provide intensive support working not only with the Learning Disabled employee & their employer but also their families, partners, social workers etc.  

Work provides a framework to our lives. In addition to income, work brings stability, a sense of purpose and social contact. We aim to address the disadvantages faced by unemployed learning disabled adults including economic challenges, social exclusion and isolation and the higher incidence of physical and mental health issues.

What we do ... 

Work Training – 80 people 

We train 80 people each week at the farm near Beckley. Most of our work Trainees are picked up from their homes in Hastings and brought to the farm by minibus. We support people with a range of disabilities including Autism, Asperger’s, Downs Syndrome & chromosomal disorders. Training opportunities include work in our office, at the farmer’s market where customer service skills can be learned, catering skills, sales and production skills, gardening, horticulture, woodland management and production and marketing of charcoal. 

Supported Employment - 20 people 

We have placed 20 people into paid work so far. We will place another 15 by the end of 2018. We work with local employers including restaurants, care homes, schools & offices to analyse job requirements & match them with the skills of the people we support.  At first, they are supported by a job coach who also supports managers & colleagues. They gradually taper support as the employee grows in confidence. One person has now been in work for over 2 years, another has been promoted to a more senior post & two people have had their hours extended. 

Young Rangers Holiday Club.

We also run a club in the school holidays and some weekends for children with learning disabilities. The children have great fun in the woodlands and on the farm, feeding the animals, craft activities, den building, outdoor cooking and much more. This provides valuable, safe, supported respite for families.

 

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Little Gate Farm celebrate the success of the pilot phase of their Supported Apprenticeship Programme
07/03/2019

Little Gate Farm celebrate the success of the pilot phase of their Supported Apprenticeship Programme. Read article
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