Volunteers save charity from the chop

A SUFFOLK learning disabilities charity threatened by closure a month ago is today facing a brighter future.

A SUFFOLK learning disabilities charity threatened by closure a month ago is today facing a brighter future.

The Millennium Farm Trust (MFT), which provides opportunities in agriculture and conservation for people with learning disabilities, was under threat because it could not find trustees.

But after an appeal in The Evening Star, volunteers stepped forward and the future of the charity is now in safe hands.

David Axton, spokesman for the charity, said: “We had 12 people ring up and ask about helping, have appointed one trustee and it looks very likely that another two are about to proceed.

“It's great to know we have people prepared to give that regular commitment.

“Quite a number of people are interested in helping generally and we are arranging visits for them to our farms. These are people who cannot commit to being trustees but have said they can help in other ways.”

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The urgent appeal for trustees came as the Charity Commission says the trust must have a minimum number of trustees to keep running, and it fell short by two.

The MFT provides people with learning disabilities with the chance to work in a farming environment and gain agricultural and horticultural skills.

The charity is based at two sites at Rede Hall Farm, near Bury St Edmunds, and Old Hall in East Bergholt.

Mr Axton said: “We've put an application for a grant into Suffolk County Council and hopefully that will help financially.

“Things are looking a lot better.”

n Do you know someone involved in the MFT? Do you have a message of support after the good news? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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