Beds, Herts & Bucks

Mother told in meeting that Thrift Farm could close

Family petting a goat Image copyright Julia Saunders-Fern
Image caption Thrift Farm has traditional farm animals including goats, sheep, pigs and chickens

A farm that helps people with learning disabilities and mental health problems could close, the mother of a client has been told.

Tracie Bailey said in a meeting over the future of Thrift Farm in Whaddon, near Milton Keynes, she was told one option was to shut it.

She said it could "impact on so many vulnerable people's lives".

Buckinghamshire County Council, which runs the farm, said a report about its future would be published on Friday.

A petition to save the farm has reached more than 3,600 signatures.

Image caption The farm, in Whaddon near Milton Keynes, has been running for more than 40 years

Kane McCague, 25, who is autistic and has learning difficulties, has been attending as a client for 10 years.

His mother Miss Bailey, from Bletchley, who volunteers at the farm, said she felt "sick and disappointed" at the news which could "impact on so many vulnerable people's lives".

"It has been a lifeline to our family, bringing Kane stability. He has learnt to serve, bake, wash-up, load the dishwasher and it has made him more independent," she said.

"He would never have been able to do those things before."

Image caption The farm runs a supported employment scheme to help adults with learning difficulties learn key skills

A spokeswoman for Buckinghamshire County Council said: "We can confirm that a report about the future of Thrift Farm is scheduled to be considered by the Council's Cabinet on 4 February, and will be published in our website on Friday 25 January."

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