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Saved farm taken over by new management

Thrift Farm was the focus of a huge campaign to save it in 2019.

Published by Dan Gooding at 1:32pm 27th February 2020. 3-minute read.

Saved farm taken over by new management

A farm which employs those with learning disabilities in Buckinghamshire is now under new management.

Thrift Farm has been taken over by a new group, after the County Council said it couldn't keep it going.

With the legal transfer to a new company owned by Kids Play Childcare and Mead Open Farm on 20 February - 2020 sees the start of a new era for Thrift Farm. 

Following several unsuccessful attempts to find a new provider the Council held a public consultation on the future of the farm - one option being to find a someone to take over operations at the farm.

The Council agreed the joint venture in September 2019 - securing the farms future and a continued service for adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

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."

Thrift Farm, North Bucks
Thrift Farm is just outside Milton Keynes

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 transfered over to the new venture with no interruption to service delivery. 

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 service 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

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