A SUSSEX charity caring for children and young people with complex disabilities is encouraging people to sponsor one of their animals.
An animal sponsorship is the perfect gift for animal lovers both young and old.
It can also make a massive difference to the lives of young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation.
The gift packs will help to support pigs, pygmy goats, chickens, geese, tortoises, sheep,
guinea pigs, ducks and Shetland ponies.
And sponsorship starts from just £4 per month.
The animals all live on Patchwork Farm, an on-site therapeutic care farm, providingunique learning experiences for all young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation.
Helping to care for the livestock is an essential part of the therapy the childrenreceive.
The multi-sensory learning environment offers a calming, outside space where youngpeople, and staff, can enjoy spending time with the animals.
It also provides benefits such as helping to build confidence and to develop languageand communication skills.
It costs £65,000 each year to run the farm, and the charity has just released a newsponsorship package.
Farm Manager Lesley Barcock said: “The farm is really special and makes a massivedifference to our children and young people, who all have complex needs.
“During the periods of lockdown Patchwork Farm has been a lifeline to the young peopleliving with us and those who have continued coming to school throughout the year.
“It may be taking a guinea pig into class or it could be our students coming to thefarm.
“We have special animal feeders, which mean the young people, using their specialistswitches, can feed the animals, like anyone else.
“We do a lot of handling here. That one-to-one contact is really important as well.
“That can do anything from boosting social confidence, to being more confident aroundanimals and therefore going into different environments.”
Assistant Headteacher Paula Marten stressed how important it is to raise the moneyneeded to keep the farm going.
She said: “We do need that help from the local people. I know that the farm has always attracted lots of support, because I think you only have to look at the children here and how they experience it, and you can see how important it is to them.
“But we continue to need that income from the wider community.”
There are various packages available to sponsor. Each sponsorship will make adifference to the young people at Chailey.
There are three sponsorship packages:
Small & Furry £4 per month / £58 one-off yearly payment.Your sponsorship pack will include: Sponsorship certificate. Patch’s animal fact file. An ‘I’m supporting Patchwork Farm’ sticker. The Foundation newsletter, Discover (bi-annually, by post). News from the Farm Newsletter (annually, by email).
Cute & Cuddly £6 per month / £84 one-off yearly payment.In addition to Small & Furry, your sponsorship pack will also include: A behind the scenes video from the Farm (annually, by email). Handmade wooden farm animal toy.
Large & Loud£8 per month / £110 one-off yearly payment.In addition to all above, your sponsorship pack will also include: A bespoke visit to Patchwork Farm: You will receive an invitation to visit Patchwork Farm for a two-hour hands-on experience with some of the animals.Your visit can include feeding and watering the animals, grooming the Shetland Pony and guinea pigs, and handling the chickens and tortoises. A selection of dates will be offered throughout the summer holidays. Virtual options are available if required.
So, to find out more and secure your sponsorship, go to Sponsor an Animal (chf.org.uk)