Staff at a farm which helps people with learning, physical and mental health difficulties are celebrating the opening of their new headquarters.
The headquarters, now based in the farm’s former shop premises, was opened earlier this month by St Edmundsbury Mayor, Terry Clements.
It marks a major step forward for the enterprise, based at Rookery Farm, which has now launched a new summer course for young people, aged 10 and above, called Time Out.
Depden Care Farm is run by the Millennium Farm Trust, a registered charity, established in 1996.
Farm staff teach up to 12 ‘Farm Helpers’ in animal husbandry, horticulture and agriculture, for three days each week.
The Helpers stay for as long as they like with the work designed to build confidence and develop social and practical skills.
The outdoor physical activity also improves mental and physical fitness.
“Since the Care Farm project moved here three years ago, the headquarters has been based in the farmhouse living room,” said director, Tim Freathy
“The room served its purpose but when the farm shops closed earlier this year, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand the enterprise with a new headquarters which now provides space for meetings, teas, coffees and lunches.
“We are delighted with it.”
At the six-acre farm, helpers also work in the allotment and vegetable garden as well as learn about animals.
Farm Helpers take part in team projects such as fence building, creating animal enclosures and general repairs.
The new Time Out sessions are designed for young people additional needs and will be held twice a week.