Thrift Farm officially under new management
Thrift Farm is officially under new management and will now run independently of the Council.
Thrift Farm provides a vital lifeline for people with learning difficulties and mental health problems.
Buckinghamshire County Council said it could not continue to run Thrift Farm in Whaddon, near Milton Keynes, due to a £304,000 overspend in 2017-18.
There was a huge public outcry following the announcement, with nearly 7,000 people signing a petition which called for the farm to be saved.
However, following a public consultation they found a company to take over the much loved farm.
BCC have now arranged for the legal transfer of the farm to Kids Play Childcare and Mead Open Farm, which will be a new era for the farm which has helped so many young people for over 40 years.
Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: 'I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of this consultation. It's important to remember this was instrumental in finding a new provider. It gave people a voice, and we heard them loud and clear. The overwhelming support for services to stay at the farm attracted the right kind of attention, the kind that gets results.'
Lin went on to commend Kids Play Ltd and Mead Open Farm for their sensitivity and understanding throughout the transition saying: "This really bodes well for the future and fills me with confidence in their ability to deliver a good service."
All 57 service users and 19 staff have transferred over to the new venture with no interruption to service delivery, say the council.
Lin continued: 'I would also like to thank the staff at Thrift Farm who have shown such dedication and commitment to some of our most vulnerable residents. Through them we have been able to maintain stability and continuity for servicer users.'
Thrift Activity Farm will continue to provide year round services for adults with learning disabilities both in the cafe and across the farm.
The café is open all year, with the farm park and animal enclosures due to re-open to the public as usual at Easter.
For more information about opening hours, events and facilities go to www.thrift-farm.co.uk