If you have never visited Little Gate Farm, you are missing out on a very rewarding experience. Set in delightful surroundings in rural Beckley, Little Gate Farm is the home of Little Gate supported employment whose mission is to help people with learning disabilities and autism into paid work. This is achieved through their supported work training programme which leads to supported employment and supported apprenticeship opportunities.
The support for trainees and their employers continues throughout their career and for younger children (eight – 18) there is a Little Rangers club which gives kids a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn, while having great fun and making friends as well as providing valuable respite time for families.
Bringing people together at Little Gate is what matters, and when you visit you can sense the feeling of pride in everyone you meet, It’s obvious that all the young people love being there and the staff love working there with them. In addition to all that is grown and made at the farm there’s also a fascinating collection of rustic hand crafted buildings, plenty of free parking and no neighbours. It’s no wonder their outside events are becoming very popular.
Little Gate Farm is the perfect venue for a summer barbecue meeting, and on Wednesday, June 14 it played host to the Rye Chamber of Commerce, where organisers Jane Brook (chair) and Sarah Broadbent (vice chair) worked extremely hard encouraging local businesses to come together in an informal atmosphere. Their tenacity paid off and with over 70 guests attending from as far a field as Eastbourne, Peacehaven and Newhaven (as representatives of the Alliances Of Chambers in East Sussex) the event proved to be a runaway success.
Rye Community Transport provided a shuttle service bringing guests to and from Rye and on arrival we were entertained by Logan Wilson who gave a superb live performance. A well-stocked bar was very welcome on such a hot summers evening and Rye Butchers sponsored the very tasty barbecue and with delicious summer salads from Georgie Porgie’s Pudding and Pie.
We heard from members of the Little Gate team about all the incredible work they do and we were all offered a guided tour of the farm where we met the animals, saw the charcoal production and woodland crafts, surveyed the beds of flowers, herbs and vegetables before returning to the open sided marquee. We were also able to toast marshmallows on sticks over a fire pit encircled with hay bales, ah simple pleasures but what an opportunity to soak up the surroundings and make the most of such an enjoyable evening.
This was no stuffy formal meeting, it was a well organised, well attended and very successful networking opportunity for our local, and not so local, businesses to get together, share ideas and experiences in a relaxed and peaceful environment whilst at the same time raising funds for such a worthwhile charity.
Fancy coming along next time? Join the Rye Chamber of Commerce by contacting Jane or Sarah on email@example.com or on 01797 222857. To learn more about Little Gate Farm go to www.littlegate.org.uk or call them on 01797 260580.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Natasha Robinson , Natasha Robinson .