Stay up to date with the latest news from the Aldingbourne Trust
Aldingbourne Trust has announced their latest Country Centre attraction: aRTie the Land Train! aRTie will debut on Saturday, 03 December, offering a new perspective to showcase all the site offers through the comfort and excitement of a train ride. A Great Day Out at Aldingbourne just got even GREATER!
Karen Tyrrell joined the Country Centre as Visitor & Enterprise Operations Manager 6 months ago. She has since been exploring new and quirky activities to enhance the 'Great Day Out' experience. Securing aRTie was nothing short of a collaborative effort, though. Karen shared, "The Land Train was a little above our budget. But thanks to an Invest4 Grant from the Business Hot House Programme (funded through the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Brighton & Hove City Council), and an Arun District Council Business Growth Grant, we could make the purchase."
Bringing aRTie to the South Coast was no mean feat as his previous home was in Coventry. However, the superb team at R.T. Page, experts in road transport, storage, handling and logistics, offered to make the journey! Robin Gray, Transport Manager, said, "R.T. Page is proud to support such a good local cause and wishes them all the best for the future. We look forward to helping in the future to support the Aldingbourne Trust."
Excited to embark on aRTie? Visit www.aldingbourne.org/attractions to learn more about Aldingbournes 'Great Day Out' attractions.
Written by Lizzie Williams
From work experience to graduation day - we are excited to share Rebekah's journey on the Open Farm.
Since joining the Trust in 2019 on a work experience placement, Rebekah has completed her Higher National Diploma in Animal Care (Brinsbury College), where she gained a deeper insight and understanding of varied species and the different aspects of looking after animals.
Rebekah knew from a young age that she wanted to work with animals. She had initially hoped to become a vet, but the further she got into her studies and farm experiences, she realised that primates were her passion.
With a variety of animals to care for on the Open Farm, Rebakah has made many unique connections. However, one animal has a special place in her heart: Sage, the Sussex saddleback pig. "She has been with us since she was a sweet little piglet, and now, she's a fully grown mischievous pig! It has been an absolute joy being involved in rearing her and ensuring she is cared for correctly."
Farm Manager Jon Clarke shared, "It was clear from a very early stage that she is a trustworthy and reliable person and this, combined with her caring nature, meant she was ideally suited to a support role on the Open Farm. She works tirelessly for the animals and takes great care in ensuring their health and well-being."
When asked about the particular highlights of her role, Rebekah shared, "There have been many, but if I was to narrow it down to one, then I think that must be supporting the clients on the Farm. It is the best feeling when you see them happy and achieve things they thought they never would. For example, I recently assisted a client in picking out the donkeys' hooves!"
Whilst Rebekah is proud to have passed her course with a Distinction, she's relieved she doesn't have to worry about assignments for now! Keen to keep expanding her knowledge, she has since enrolled in an online Environmental Conservation course. We can't wait to see where her passion leads her next.
On behalf of us all at Aldingbourne Trust, we congratulate you, Rebekah!
Written by Lizzie Williams
Wood@Aldingbourne Enterprise gets crafty with the latest landmark unveiled at Aldingbourne Country Centre - a giant Adirondack chair.
When you can take something ordinary, like a chair, and make it 5x bigger, you can't help but stop and bask in its extraordinariness!
Aldingbourne takes great pride in its visitor experience and constantly explores new quirky ways to enhance the 'Great Day Out' experience. Our Visitor & Enterprise Manager, Karen Tyrrell, made the proposition to the Country Centres Wood@Aldingbourne Team. Brian Alden, Wood Manager, came up with the design, but it was down to Volunteer Bill Adams to decipher the sketch and assemble a team to build this new landmark piece by piece.
It was a challenging build, Bill said, "We had to make it in the workshop and then disassemble it to paint it, and then get it outside before we could reassemble it again because it wouldn't fit through the doorways." Reflecting on the finished piece, "I'm delighted with how it turned out, and I think the best way to see it is with people sitting in it!"
Chloe Thorp, who visited the Country Centre with a friend and their children, shared, "We had the pleasure of using the new Giant Chair for some great picture moments! The children noticed it straight away with its bright colours and of course the size! The girls ran straight to it and wanted a photo together, so of course, we whipped out our cameras for those cute picture moments we all love as a parent! I think it's a great part of the centre, and both the children and grownups love it."
Looking for a giant chair to capture that epic family photo you've been planning to send to extended family? Why not take a trip to Aldingbourne Country Centre, where you can find such a chair on their Oak Tree Field.
Stick PO18 0JP into the sat nav, and you'll be on your way!
Written by Lizzie Williams
The 'Make A Difference Awards' highlights community champions making a difference where they live, presented by BBC Radio Solent for Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight. On Tuesday, the 20th of September, the ceremony was held at Portsmouth Guildhall, where eight category winners were announced.
Nominated by the community for creating real change by breaking down barriers and bringing people from different walks of life together, a judge of panels selected MAKE as the winner of 'The Together Award'. Through solid partnerships between social enterprise and charity activities, Aldingbourne Trust enables people with learning disabilities and/or autism across Sussex and Hampshire to have real choices and be more independent.
MAKE@Aldingbourne supports people to develop skills in various areas such as retail, café and creative sessions where they can make gifts, artwork and more! Art is a powerful tool of self-expression and individualism, and they love to see how that is reflected in each person's creations.
Sarah Mitas, the project manager, said, " We feel incredibly proud to be recognised as a community venue which is inclusive of everybody. The people we support are thrilled knowing they are valuable members of a team and that their work is appreciated".
Written by Lizzie Williams
We held a Friends of the Aldingbourne Trust Drinks Party on Monday 30th May and welcomed 76 people to Woodmancote Farmhouse in a marquee full of lovely flowers which guests were invited to take home with them.
Guests were given drinks and delicious canapés, all made by the team in the Cafe at the Aldingbourne Country Centre.
Andrew, supported by the Aldingbourne Trust, gave a heartwarming speech about how important the Aldingbourne Trust is to him and encouraged guests to join the Friends.
A number of people joined the Friends of Aldingbourne Trust. Their invaluable friendship will help provide activities and equipment for people supported by the Trust that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy.
Huge thanks to all involved and to everyone for coming. We took over £1,200.
A brand-new children’s day nursery will open in September in an exciting and innovative collaboration between Seasons Children’s Nursery & Forest School and local award-winning charity supporting people with learning difficulties and autism, the Aldingbourne Trust.
Seasons Day Nursery will be housed in a newly refurbished detached building at the Trust’s Aldingbourne Country Centre near Chichester, complete with its own Children’s Garden, vegetable beds and access to the Open Farm, woodland walk and woodland Bothy.
Hannah Rosalie, founder of the nursery, said: “The new building will allow us to provide an additional 21 places and offer up to 30 hours of funded (‘free entitlement’) hours for two and three year old’s.”
The new nursery will be run by qualified teachers with a particular focus on outdoor learning. “I believe that the best place for children to grow and learn is in the real world. That’s why I love what we do here at Barn Cottage, our existing nursery near Pulborough. We feed the chickens, collect the eggs, bake, grow vegetables and have the freedom to go for country walks and wave to the postman. It’s real, calm and child-centred and when Ofsted rated us Outstanding, despite our creative take on the curriculum, it was a big credit to my small team”
Seasons will boast a Farm School (animal care, growing vegetables and more) and Forest School with direct access to a wide range of existing activities at the 15-acre Aldingbourne Country Centre. Nature and arts-based activities will be woven throughout the Early Years curriculum to provide a child centred holistic setting run by fully qualified Early years educators.
Michelle McKinley Bell, Head of Enterprise & Development at the Aldingbourne Trust says: “As well as offering visitors a Great Day Out with a wide range of activities including open farm, maze, ride on tractors, woodland walk, mini golf, sand, water and play areas at the Country Centre; we are a well-established charity supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to live independent lives and develop their skills within a variety of social enterprises to enable them to gain voluntary or paid employment within the community.”
“Our innovative approach has developed and grown over the past 44 years and continues to evolve with lots of exciting plans for the future. The Country Centre hosts a variety of social enterprises open to the public, including wood recycling, plant nursery, retail gift shop and café serving delicious homemade lunches, using locally sourced ingredients and it even boasts an indoor slide! The people we support are central to everything we do, and their skills and talents are showcased within each enterprise. ”
“A nursery on site to support working parents locally seemed an obvious addition to our portfolio of enterprises and we are very excited to welcome Seasons Day Nursery to our Country Centre in the Autumn” says Michelle.
Hannah continues, “Operating a small nursery within the confines of a safe community of like-minded people will allow us to continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities for children in a real-world environment. No strip lights, no plastic toys, no scratchy carpet tiles, just a beautiful well-designed space, quality wooden resources, exceptional educators and a whole load of love and nurturing in a real-life community with people who care.”
Seasons Day Nursery was established in 2016, originally as a childminding service. The business has grown to become a successful day care operation providing a high-quality service to families and children from three months to school age.
Seasons Day Nursery is due to open at the Aldingbourne Country Centre in September 2022, and will offer free entitlement places for 2–4-year-olds.
For more information and a prospectus, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply to work at Seasons Day Nursery email email@example.com
Information on Aldingbourne Trust please visit www.aldingbournetrust.org
Meet Lewis, who is currently being supported by Impact Workability. Lewis has an Acquired Brain Injury following a stroke which he had at the age of 15, and he’s just about to turn 22.
Lewis is one of many people who are receiving help from Supported Employment West Sussex to find work. He is determined to work in the healthcare sector, and despite being moved a year back at school to restudy work missed in year ten, he worked hard and achieved good qualifications, which gained him a place at University to study Occupational Therapy. Whilst there he gained lots of experience, however due to the Covid 19 pandemic he had to make the difficult decision leave the course. Since then, Lewis has continued to apply for work with the healthcare sector and has applied to volunteer at a local hospital to further his experience alongside his job searching.
Lewis’ determination is an inspiration to us and he has so much to give to his next team and patients- could Lewis be your next team member?
Here he is sharing more about his story and experiences as part of Impact Initiatives 2021 conference:
For more information about Lewis’ skills, and to find out more about how Supported Employment West Sussex can support your recruitment please contact Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a great day out this Easter Holiday? Join us at the Aldingbourne Country Centre for a full 2 weeks of fun events, with something for the whole family to enjoy.
Events include: Bounce About Day, First Class Falconry, Aldingbourne’s Wipe Out Zone, Foam Party, Easter Egg Hunt, Build a Den Day & Aldingbourne’s Assault Course!
Individual Price (Age 2+) - £7.50
Family Day Pass (up to 4 people) - £28
This price includes entrance to all Easter Events.
Visit our website for full details - aldingbournetrust.org/events
If you like the idea of supporting a local charity by having fun, the Aldingbourne Country Centre is well worth a visit. With a woodland walk, mini golf, sand and water play area, wooden train and castle play area, and delicious locally sourced and home-cooked food in our own onsite café, these are just some of the activities you can enjoy.
Aldingbourne Trust awarded grant from government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund to tackle loneliness in the local community
Aldingbourne Trust was today announced as one of the recipients of the first round of funding of the government’s £4 million Local Connections Fund, which has been designed to tackle loneliness in local communities and ensure support was directed to where it was most immediately needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Aldingbourne Trust which supports adults with learning disabilities live independent lives joins over 840 other charities, community groups and small grassroots organisations across England to have received a grant to help people feel more connected within their communities. Grants ranged from £300 to £2,500 and were awarded to organisations with an annual income of less than £50,000.
Aldingbourne Trust received a grant of £1700 to purchase computers to help people with LD could be connected, active and learning during lockdown with the support of our TechMate and so Staff and volunteers could receive online training so that remote support and communication could take place with the people we support.
The Local Connections Fund is made up of £2 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and £2 million from The National Lottery Community Fund. The second round of funding for the Local Connections Fund will be provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and applications for this will launch in the summer of 2021.
This week also marks one year since DCMS relaunched its long-running campaign, Let’s Talk Loneliness, to remind people that there is no shame in asking for help. To mark this milestone, the Loneliness Minister has released Emerging Together: the Tackling Loneliness Network Action Plan, to recognise that tackling loneliness will remain a national priority for the Government.
The action plan has set out key themes and actions decided by the Tackling Loneliness Network, which includes over 70 organisations. Members of the network have committed to self-funded actions which will help local communities tackle loneliness, including:
● WhatsApp will develop a chatbot messaging service that will offer anyone impacted by loneliness a simple and secure way to find information and support services.
● JCDecaux has committed to look at how relevant content to help signpost young people to loneliness support and services could be included on their network of free, fast wifi spots on high streets across the UK.
● The Association of Convenience Stores will produce a guide for its members on wellbeing and tackling loneliness
Since the beginning of the pandemic, over £31.5 million of the £750 million charity funding package has gone directly towards reducing loneliness, and a further £45 million to organisations supporting people with their mental health. In total, over 13,000 charities have benefited.
Project spokesperson’s name, from name of organisation, said:
Baroness Barran, Minister for Loneliness, said:
“Over the past year I have been truly inspired by the impact that small community organisations can have on people’s lives in our towns and villages, so I’m delighted that the Local Connections Fund will give people an opportunity to go out and do things that they enjoy.
“I’m proud to have worked alongside the organisations in the Tackling Loneliness Network to produce our action plan, and I am confident that the commitments we’ve made will be a positive step towards ending the loneliness that has blighted so many lives in the past year.”
Elly De Decker, England Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said:
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve continually seen the impact that grassroots groups and charities are having on their local communities. The grants made through the Local Connections Fund have empowered small organisations across England to make a huge difference – supporting individuals to build connections, reducing feelings of isolation and helping communities to thrive.
“We are proud to have distributed this funding on behalf of DCMS, and now look ahead to the summer when a further £2million of National Lottery funding will be made available – through the Local Connections Fund - to help charities and community groups address loneliness and create social connections in their local areas.”
At RAS, we believe that successful talent management starts with the right recruitment and selection.
We recently received a letter from the Aldingbourne Trust in relation to the recruitment experience of one of our newest colleagues and their appreciation of one of our Recruitment Advisors…
“My name is Debbie Mott, I work for the Aldingbourne Trust, in the WorkAid team, our head office is based at our Country Centre site in Fontwell, near Chichester, West Sussex.
I work with a team of employment consultants who are based throughout various locations in West Sussex. We specifically work with adults who are anywhere on the spectrum of learning disabilities and autism. In my work I offer holistic and personalised support to adults looking to gain fulfilling and sustainable paid employment.
Our client’s come from a variety of employment backgrounds, from those who may be looking for their first paid job right through to those finding the next steps in their careers, but they are all very keen and determined to succeed in all they set out to achieve; they are just looking for the chance to fulfil their career goals and aspirations.
K came to Work Aid in early 2020 after finishing his full-time education in a catering training establishment after which K had been looking for work for several months. K used our support to access a volunteer opportunity within a local charity shop where he was able to build on his existing transferable skills as well as gaining many new skills, including raising his own confidence within a workplace.
Determined to keep looking for appropriate paid work and seeing how COVID-19 was having a large impact of the hospitality industry, he set out to look for new opportunities.
Together we came across a position advertised by Retail & Asset Solutions (RAS) who were for retail stocktakers.
K applied for the job and submitted his CV. He was very open and honest about his lifelong disability, which K has always been keen to do.
K heard back early on in his application to say that he had been successful so far and was offered an online interview with Simone White-Yule. He was nervous, though keen to make a good impression. A couple of days later the online interview took place, and I supported K to make a request around reasonable adjustments, which prompted Simone to call following the interview.
In this call I learned that Simone understood autism and with this was therefore able to appreciate some of the assets that people with autism can bring to a workplace, qualities that many organisations consider valuable, such as high levels of enthusiasm, areas of expertise, reliability with added attention to detail and a sought-after ability to work in a consistent environment. Simone was able to set aside the standard expectations placed upon an application, such as one having an extensive working history. We openly discussed possible concerns, about how K would cope in some situations such as with his understanding of routine and assignment commitments, and together we were able to talk these through and find solutions.
Simone was keen to see if she could advocate on K’s behalf to consider offering him the role. With her tenacity, understanding and the desire to also see K succeed, she was able to be the key link to K securing employment.
K was soon offered a job start! K himself was ecstatic as he had also appreciated how Simone had presented him with the honesty and integrity his application deserved. Simone had not just managed to secure K paid employment, but had renewed K’s faith in the process of application where a disability is disclosed. A true acknowledgement that when reasonable adjustments are put into place at the very start of the application process, how a pool of talent can be accessed without unnecessary assumption, stereotyping, bias, and discrimination.
Many people with a disability will suspect being honest and open about disability can disadvantage them in applying for jobs, and because of this, many often choose not to disclose their disability.
Three in five UK employees have experienced disability bias (hrmagazine.co.uk) and there still appears still to be many myths surrounding disability in that it may cost employers additional monies and that a disability means ill health, especially where the disability is often ‘unseen’.
Throughout K’s application RAS demonstrated that they clearly have diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement strategies at the forefront of their work with practice policies that are set out to remove any unfair discrimination. Simone certainly approached K’s application in a way which has contributed to an open and inclusive workplace culture, especially when making reasonable adjustments in the selection process.
RAS are championing positive action to address a current under-representation among disabled people in the workforce, and in doing so are building a culture where every candidate is valued and it is true that a corporate image and reputation can be enhanced when working in an inclusive way.
Keep up the wonderful work RAS! we certainly look forward to working with you again in the future!