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.