About Us

Lainey’s Farm is run by Elaine (“Lainey”) Symes and Toby Marsh who live on-site with five children, aged 7-18.

Elaine has spent all her working life caring for people. Her post for the last eight years was working in a dedicated residential home for adults with various learning difficulties including autism, Downs syndrome and Asperger’s syndrome. She holds current qualifications in all relevant areas and has a wealth of hands-on experience working with clients who suffer from epilepsy.

Elaine is confident in her work and brings a cheerful and fun atmosphere into her surroundings and those working with her. Her attitude is always to empower students so they can achieve their full potential.

We started the farm in November 2013 and have stocked it with sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens. We also have the farm pets, a guinea pig, a rabbit, ‘Sir’ Stanley the cat plus our three adorable dogs. All the animals have been handled from birth and are throughly used to human contact. Our most recent arrivals are a clutch of rescued pheasant eggs which are hatching.

We also have a dedicated classroom which is fitted out with a fully functioning kitchen, our vegetable plot is growing and our polytunnel is due soon. We also hope eventually to offer pottery courses with our own kiln as well as other rural crafts and horticulture.

Students will benefit from the classroom with its activities and crafts, as well as helping care for the animals and vegetable plot.  We will recruit specialist staff to offer courses in crafts and skills that we cannot run ourselves. We intend to grow the Laineys Farm team together with the activities on offer for our growing student register.

Students

Each student will be individually assessed for the level of care and supervision they require by our trained staff so that they can benefit as much as possible from the facilities available. Students can choose to attend between one and five sessions per week.

Facilities

We operate on a 10-acre site called Laineys Farm around Little Pagehurst. The classroom is adapted for disabled access to enable all students to benefit from the wide range of activities available on the premises.

Staff

Laineys Farm offers competent trained staff, CRB-checked with appropriate qualifications. We are all care professionals with specialist knowledge and experience in activity areas. Specialist staff will be sourced to run individual lessons on an ad-hoc basis until a good student base is established: these lessons will then become full-time courses.

Health and Safety

The centre is regularly assessed for health and safety to provide risk assessment and recommendations.

Travel

Travel to and from the centre within our catchment area will be provided at extra cost or students may travel with their own carers (no charge for the carer). Staplehurst bus stop and train station are a few minutes away and we can meet arrivals on public transport by arrangement. We prefer students travelling on public transport to carry a reliable mobile phone. Please contact us to discuss individual travel requirements to and from Laineys Farm.

Catering

Students to bring packed lunches, free hot and cold drinks will be available. During cookery classes, students will plan and create simple dishes that they generally eat for lunch or occasionally they can take home at the end of the day.