Hft charity garden

A learning disability service in Kent, run by the national charity Hft, will be able to revamp its outdoor space and improve its accessibility thanks to a £2,000 donation.

The site has over five acres of land, where people supported at the service regularly enjoy socialising and taking part in activities. Thanks to the donation, the service’s outdoor space will be given a makeover as part of the charity’s Big Build project.

Staff at the service, which supports over 50 adults and comprises 11 supported living apartments and two residential homes, embarked on the ‘Big Build’ project in 2016 by successfully applying for Hft’s Funds for the Future grant scheme, which enabled them to build an outdoor gym.

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A further £15,000 was required to create accessible footpaths and a sensory room, so the service invited the community to fundraising events including an Easter egg hunt, fashion shows and raffles, raising over £10,000 in recent years.

With the pandemic making fundraising events difficult, the recent generous donation means work on accessible footpaths is able to be completed, ensuring that those with limited mobility can use the outdoor gym.

Any remaining funds will go towards a sensory room, which will provide a much-needed space for people to develop and engage their senses in a safe and calming environment.

The generous donation was made by a local couple, who wish to remain anonymous, to pay tribute to the social care staff who have supported their relative through the pandemic.

Susie Mifsud, Registered Cluster Manager in Kent, said: “We are so grateful for this incredible donation, which brings us even closer to our target for completing the Big Build.

“It has always been an ambitious project, but was made even more difficult due to the pandemic. However, thanks to this wonderful donation, we’re confident that the end is now in sight.

“We can’t wait to unveil our revamped outdoor space, and for the people we support here in Lympne to spend many happy hours exercising, socialising and having fun. If anyone is interested in supporting our project, please do get in touch.”

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible.  Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day.

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