Volunteers at Little Gate Farm in Rother

Jeff (on the photo) used to work but had a bad motorcycle accident that led to 8 months in convalescence and then being cared for by his father.   When he first started work at Little Gate, three years ago, he could hardly walk.  “Now I can move around a lot easier.  It’s because of all the activity here, if I was at home I would just sit around and I wouldn’t be able to move”.

“It’s a wonderful place to work. The people here are absolutely brilliant. Heart of Gold. They don’t judge anyone. If it wasn’t for them I’d be a lost worse off than what I am.  They drag you out of bed.”

Jeff enjoys working with tools and has the skills and knowledge to do this.  He often works alone because he enjoys it.  “We’ve done a lot of building all over the farm. It’s quite hard graft but with quite a few hands on board it helps. Its fun”.  “Don’t know what it is but I just keep coming back”. 


Carl
was originally referred to a training programme at the Tilling Green Centre in Rye by the Job Centre he then had the opportunity to have a go at volunteering. He loves being at Little Gate Farm where he has the opportunity to learn new skills and help other people.  He helps with maintenance – fencing, the buildings. Clare, who runs the farm had said ask Carl about the cess pit, so we did. “One time when the toilets blocked up I helped Dave clearing up the drains.  Nobody else wanted to do it but I didn’t mind.”

We have asked Carl, what made him want to volunteer? “I first wanted to volunteer as a way of getting myself out of the house, I have a bad back and couldn’t work anymore.   But here I can do things but its not pushed on me, I can go at my own pace and give back something  for what the Job Centre give me, or at least that’s the way I feel.

I have been here 2 -3 years now and absolutely love it.  It gives me everything I could possibly want – I learn with new things and people to talk to.  It’s the best thing you can ever do”.