Farm’s festive fundraiser

Grooming Highland cattle at The Hayshed Experience. Picture: Scott Wicking
Grooming Highland cattle at The Hayshed Experience. Picture: Scott Wicking

A Christmas fair at The Hayshed Experience in Commondale raised over £1,100 towards a new education room at the facility.

A variety of events took place, including a visit from Father Christmas, at the farm which provides training and work experience placements for disabled adults.

Robin Asquith, operations manager at The Hayshed, said: “The fair went brilliantly.

“A lot more people attended than last year and we raised a fantastic amount of money towards refurbishing one of our farm buildings and turning it into an education room.

“We need to find around £5,000 to cover the cost of heating, lighting and new computers for the new room, so this is a big chunk knocked off that total.”

The education room is due to be up and running by Easter 2015, and Mr Asquith revealed that there are plans to open up the new facility to the local community.

He added: “We’re looking at the possibility of hosting night classes and affording people in the community the chance to take advantage of what we have to offer.”

In addition to meeting Father Christmas, visitors to the farm on Saturday afternoon had the opportunity to feed and groom Highland cattle, sample mulled wine, soup, burgers and sausages and peruse a variety of food, craft and produce stalls.

Mr Asquith continued: “A lot of our trainees came to the fair, some of them got involved and helped out, while others brought their families to show them what it is they do here.

“It was nice to see so many of the people who we’ve been training taking part on the day.”

The Christmas fair rounded off what has been a busy 2014 at the Hayshed Experience.

“We’ve been flat out this year,” added Mr Asquith.

“We currently have 52 placements per week and are working with up to 12 trainees a day.

“Being busy and having the opportunity to work with all these people is exactly what we want though.”