On Wednesday 18th August, President Rosemary, accompanied by Bruce and Keith (Community Service Committee), plus members of the Satellite Club, Gerald Illsley, David and Jean Chapman and Jim and Mireille Farley visited the Ferring Country Centre, Ferring.
The Centre is a Charity and was established in 1986 to provide meaningful training and work experience for adults with learning disabilities to enable them to play valued roles in society.
We were given a really informative and interesting tour by Samantha Kirk, Head of Communications. We were shown around their four day service departments as follows :
A) Riding Therapy Unit where the day customers are based in a stable-yard environment, working with and learning about horse care and management. The Unit also runs lessons on a daily basis for customers with either physical or learning disabilities, which are supported by day service customers who are able to tack up and lead horses.
B) Horticulture Unit which operates its own garden centre, where day customers grow stock from seedlings to established plants to sell to the general public. The team offers a tub and hanging basket service and in addition completes the gardening on site, whilst also offering gardening services in the local area including the Church.
C) Catering Unit which offers day service customers the opportunity to develop cooking and customer service skills.
D) Dales Farm which offers day service customers the chance to work with a wide range of animals from alpacas to goats, sheep to pigs, poultry to finches etc.
Other facilities include classroom based art classes, lessons in various musical instruments, a sensory room and ‘learning about life’ sessions.
Finally there is also an extremely well appointed outside play area for young families.
The overall impression is one of admiration for an excellently managed Centre , with highly laudable aims and objectives providing real benefits for those in need in an attractive setting.
We thoroughly enjoyed this Vocational Visit. As a follow- up the Community Service Committee will be submitting to Council a recommendation that the club should consider supporting the Centre by means of a donation.
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