The vision of Brogdale CIC is to enable young people with disabilities to take part in a range of leisure and work opportunities as an integral part of the activities of the local communities they are a part of.
This fun and creative club is run at the Ashford Gateway Plus on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 2pm- 3.30pm. This is a real opportunity for families to mix and chill out. Siblings often come along too and parents sit and chat whilst their young people explore a new idea in stain glass or making a dream catcher. The Lego is hugely popular and we would like to thank Lego for donating 2 boxes to us. The young people really can let their imagination go wild as they construct a new town or space age with all the bricks and characters.
‘Muddy Wellies’ encompasses 3.5 acres of land, 3 poly-tunnels and a large barn for doing land based activities. There is a classroom sized building with kitchen and bathroom facilities for creative projects and meetings along with plenty of outside parking space. We are working with ‘Grow Garden Centre’ for our horticulture support and ‘Bank Farm’ for work experience opportunities.
We are currently supported by ‘Children in Need’, Lord Lieutenant, Ashford Mayor, several special needs schools, local farmers and the wider community
We want to create: -
Learning environment for special schools to come on a daily basis to gain work experience
Learning environment for disabled young adults to come on daily basis to gain work experience and to gain enjoyable occupation
Learning environment for schools to come both primary and secondary to engage with nature, learn about rural crafts, environment, growing and healthy eating
Healing space to find space, peace and time to recover from emotional dis-ease. To learn to re-engage with social activities, finding self and grow in self-esteem and confidence
Social hub for community – activities to engage the community in rural life
Social activities space for young people with disabilities – rural youth activity club, day-camps/short break activities
Business incubator training environment for new ideas to germinate and for pruning of business that need a helping hand
Own business for wholesale growing to supply local community
The Food with Friends team run a cookery club on Saturday mornings at the Gateway Plus in Ashford from 10am – 12noon. This is a time to really enjoy food, to learn about the fun of working with food, how nutritious it is and just what an expert you can become. The club has made gifts for Christmas and run a stall at a Craft fayre to sell them, had a try out at working in the café and take it in turn to cook up a meal for the group. The club is growing so it looks like we will need a junior and a senior time soon.
As part of 2012 young peoples feedback on projects many said they would like to work on the environment. Young people are very concerned about keeping our planet for future generations and making sure we each take care in what ever way we can. Recycling and up-cycling were areas they wished to explore. Brogdale CIC are now looking at how we can add to our gardening recycling with a furniture upcycling project. So watch this space!
Brogdale CIC were awarded the contract to run the new café within the Ashford Gateway plus. People we work with there have a connection with disability from the staff, management and those learning. It is a wonderful opportunity for young people to gain work experience in a real setting, we have 3 schools coming to enable their students to learn skills in customer service and working in a cafe. We also work with adults who come to work through a programme of learning. Products are sourced from the local community aiding the rural economy, soon products will also come from our own farm! We hope the enterprise will bring in funds to give sustainability to some of the other activities that are run through Brogdale CIC.
Brogdale CIC have been running arts and crafts activities and events in the newly built West Faversham Community Centre, as a result we came together with them and Creed Outdoor Learning and Amicus Horizon to form a consortia to run the youth activities in Faversham. Brogdale CIC holds a youth group on Monday from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at WFCC for disabled young people aged 11 – 25years. We have loads of fun with Duplo and Lego, crafts, Wii, DVD nights, pool, air hockey, large 10 pin bowling and jenga and so much more. Come along and help us shape the youth service that you want.
As part of our work with mainly the young people in Medway we have held after school clubs to put on a show. Young people have showcased their musical and acting talents and ended the 12 week sessions with a rousing performance. We have also run one off events to compliment the arts awards in schools around dance, stage makeup, beauty and therapy and circus skills. If you would like to work with us just email to bring out the creative adventure in you.
The CIC has worked for 3 years in conjunction with Willow Farm, a local riding school to offer horse riding taster sessions and rides. At first a dedicated fenced area at Brogdale Farm was utilised for outdoor riding and then Willow Farm indoor arena. The sessions have enabled groups of young people from local schools and voluntary groups to get to know the horses, lead them on a rein and, where they wish, have a ride. By providing these introductory sessions young people can gradually be introduced to the idea of horse riding. Young people wishing to take up horse riding on a regular basis are then able to do so at Willow Farm. The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has provided on-going advice.
As part of the leisure activities we run some special events throughout the year. We try to add in as much fun as we can during the holiday periods. We have run Christmas, New Year, Valentines and Easter parties, trips to the Rare Breeds centre, Archery, BBQs, scarecrow making, pumpkin hunt and an Olympic sports event. We also run regular discos, craft making events and environmental projects. We are always interested to hear what other things you would like to do so email us with your suggestions!
A group of adults with learning disabilities are restoring and refurbishing the garden next to the railway line at Brogdale Farm that has been a hidden treasure for years. It was a “Chelsea Garden” gold medal winner that was transplanted at Brogdale and then sadly forgotten. The garden was designed as an edible garden and our team have worked very hard to bring it back to life with wonderful success.
As a result of the hard work that the guys have put in GROW garden centre have asked them to work on some projects with them. They have a tiered outdoor lecture area which the guys are maintaining and help with garden centre with their maintenance needs.
Students have designed, prepared and planted an allotment within the Brogdale Farm grounds. This site includes a pergola they have built and manger planters for those who use a wheel chair to be able to access gardening. They are growing a range of fruit and vegetables that can then be taken home to parents or sold through the on-site shop. A workshop, green house and polytunnel have been erected within Grow garden centre to allow wet weather activities to take place. A further allotment space is worked here where the young people have begun a junkyard garden.
Growing for the Future
A Saturday gardening club meets for three hours every week to continue work on the allotments and gardens.There is also a summer program of short break activities in gardening. The young people have worked with Grow Garden Centre to build an accessible garden that was built and shown at the Kent County Show where young people who built the garden were able to talk to the public about the process and the plants they have grown. The garden won Gold and was part of HRH The Duke of Kent’s official tour of the Kent County Show 2011. This garden will be replanted at Muddy Wellies Farm and continue to be maintained. The following year another the young people partnered again with Grow to build their second show garden which also won gold! This had an Olympic and Jubilee theme and has been transplanted at West Faversham Community Centre for the enjoyment of the local people
Ashford – Muddy Wellies
Young people have prepared an allotment space to grow onions and other vegetables, they work in 3 polytunnels to plant seeds and then pot on plugs. With such a large site the young people are able to let their creativity flow with next building Willow wigwams and making a maze out of herbs
In conjunction with St. Nicholas School, Canterbury, a retail area has been established with Brogdale Collections to be used as a shop for the sale of Orchard Tours and items sourced by the schools and young people and adults with disabilities. Some of the gifts and souvenirs sold in the shop have been developed and made by those with disabilities. The students have developed their own range of gifts featuring photographs they have taken around the site. These are key rings, post cards and mugs. They also sell bird boxes, hanging baskets and decorated flower pots, pictures, jewellery, note pads and cards. It is staffed by two students and a supervisor from schools during school hours (10 – 2, Monday to Friday). It has also been possible to open during festivals and summer holidays to give further work experience to both young people and adults.
Please support our project for further information contact Rebecca O’Neill 07812 416344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org