Creating positive futures for adults with learning disabilities
Thank you all for your ongoing support, and for now keep safe and well.
As we look forward to the end of the Winter, we are also
approaching a full year of Covid-19 restrictions. The year of
restrictions has both flown by and dragged, I am not sure how that
is even possible! I am very aware that these months of restrictions
have had a huge impact on our Day Services Customers, staff and
the whole Centre. We are pleased that we have been able to
continue to support our Day Service Customers both on site and
virtually. One of my highlights was the virtual Christmas Disco!
We continue to review our Covid-19 secure working environment, and at the beginning
of the year we introduced lateral flow testing for all staff. During February Day Services
were added to the list of services entitled to access weekly PCR tests, and this will be
rolled out to staff and volunteers from the 18
February. The rollout of the vaccine
programme is the first step towards a more normal future for us all, and I look forward to
a time when our Centre can be fully open for all to enjoy.
2020 was a challenging year for everyone and it seems that 2021, at least for the first
half, is going to continue in the same vein. We ended 2020 in a good position, having
completed many excellent additions and improvements to the site and look forward to
seeing the site reach its full potential as we enter the second half of 2021.
A Message from Hannah
Hannah Tombs, CEO
Life on Dales Farm During Lockdown
Lockdown means that Dales Farm cannot open to the
general public. But don’t worry, Kirstie and the Farm
team have been working hard to ensure all the animals
are healthy and happy, ready for when the gates can
open to visitors once again. We spoke to Kirstie and
asked her what has changed on Dales Farm over the
last 11 months, she told us:
Diamond, Female Guinea Pig
“The animals are missing people. With less people on site we work extra hard to keep
them stimulated and entertained. This includes a grooming/manning rota for every
animal. This gives each animal one on one human interaction and allows staff to
watch for unusual behaviours and give each animal a thorough health check.”
“We are very happy that work has started on the pig enclosure. The
developments will provide an improved all weather enclosure that will help keep the
pigs’ trotters in perfect health during the wet weather months. I would also like to say
a massive thank you to those of you who have treated our animals to items from our
Amazon wish list. Enrichment items are more important than ever, during this quiet
If you would like to send a special gift to one of our animals,
our Dales Farm Wish List can be found on Amazon.
Ferring Funders and Friends
Day Service During Lockdown
Following the success of their annual Ladies Night,
Stanford Masonic Lodge donated £500 to our Centre.
Stanford Lodge also applied to the Sussex Masonic
Charitable Foundation CIO to match the funds raised
and we were delighted to receive notification that this
had been approved, bringing the fundraising total to a
tremendous £1000.
We would also like to thank Tendercare, Girls in the Neighbourhood
and Vicki Woodard their generous donations.
March 2020 brought the first lockdown and we had
to temporarily close our doors to our Day Service
Customers. Working with our Commissioners, we
were able to open a limited service in June.
Dan and Jason were some of the first Day Service
Customers to return. We spoke to Dan and Jason’s
mum, Elaine, to find out what lockdown meant to
their family.
Jason and Dan, Day Service Customers
We offer daily virtual sessions to our Day Service Customers, if you would like
more information, email:
Elaine works for the NHS as part of the Patient Transport Service and as a keyworker
she has continued to work throughout the pandemic. When the Centre was closed,
her husband had to take time off from work to care for Dan and Jason.
Elaine explained “Dan and Jason were very confused at the beginning and felt
isolated from their friends. They have been anxious, angry and frustrated”“once they
were able to return, they felt a lot happier. They are more settled and back in their
normal routine.” “I cannot thank [Ferring Country Centre] enough, it was a relief
that they could return.” “They are still missing some of their friends, but they are
much better because they come to Ferring [Country Centre].”
Ladies Night 2019 hosted by Stanford lodge.
This month, we were visited by Danielle Bishop, a
representative from Sainsbury's Rustington, who presented
us with a £200 gift card. We will be using the donation to
purchase refreshments for a Day Service Customer event,
once the Centre is fully open.
We would like to thank Danielle Bishop for nominating us
and all the team at Sainsbury's Rustington for their support.
Danielle Bishop (Sainsbury’s), Nicole (Day Service
Customer) and Sam Kirk (Ferring Country Centre).
Children Rule in this Castle
Hold your Horses
Simon is a very talented chainsaw artist and you can see
other examples of his work around Dales Farm, including
our glorious gorilla, which was also donated by
MiltonLloyd Fragrances.
We would like to thank MiltonLloyd Fragrances for their
incredible support and I’m sure you will agree that the
Castle makes a fabulous addition to our outdoor play area!
During the first lockdown, we were approached by Peter Jackson, of Milton-Lloyd
Fragrances who offered us a very generous donation of a Castle adventure play area.
Simon from Groves Sculpture had been sponsored by Milton-Lloyd Fragrances to create
the prototype Castle, which once created would become the template for future play
To read more about the development of the goat enclosure please visit:
Bernie, Riding School Horse
With lockdown stopping all close contact riding sessions for
the moment, we decided to expand the Riding School to
include private or semi-private riding lessons. However, this
lockdown has stopped all riding for the moment.
We have been using this time to develop the Riding School
ready for when we are able to restart sessions once again.
We have 5 new horses; King, Lad, Pixie, Bobby and Patsy.
Donated Castle in Outdoor Play Area
Our team have been working with the horses to keep them in tip top condition by
lunging, hacking and schooling them. Our experienced riders take the horses on
regular rides to help the horse gain balance, reactions, suppleness and flexibility. This
improves the ability of the horse, so that when a less experienced rider is learning, the
horse can help the rider develop.
We are currently implementing an online booking system for riding sessions. This new
system should be available for all riders to access in March.
Visit our website for more information on Riding Lessons:
We were so delighted with the Castle, that we have asked Simon to work on two turrets
for our Goat enclosure, which is being refurbished in March. The turrets will provide
shelter, enrichment and climbing opportunities for our 7 goats.