Fifth Trust News


Year in review

21 December 2023

2023 was a year of growth at The Fifth Trust.

The year started out strong with the final piece of our Barham Skills Centre redevelopment – the installation of our sensory room. A former storage room was transformed into a tranquil space full of coloured lights, gentle sound, and different textures designed to improve visual, auditory, and tactile processing for people with learning disabilities.

We introduced a range of new events which have been a great way to share more about what we do at the Trust – a student art exhibition and coffee morning held in the Bradbury Hub, Elham Valley Vineyard wine tours and tastings, seasonal high teas, and family friendly hunts at our Vineyard Garden Centre. We are looking forward to revisiting these new events and more in 2024.

And thank you to all our supporters who have helped us with fundraising throughout the year. Our Christmas craft fair was a great success, with visitors spending an incredible £12,790 on Christmas goodies; our Team5T triathlon saw our team work together to raise vital funds for new sports sessions; and we opened our photography studio after successfully fundraising for new equipment, which students have been making great use out of.

Our highlight of 2023 was being named Disability Charity of the Year at the Kent Charity Awards. It is a pleasure to be recognised for our dedication in supporting adults with learning disabilities, and we are endlessly proud of all our staff who follow our mission to encourage and challenge our student to do and be the best they can.

The Fifth Trust CEO Nikki Marley said: “As our charity and student numbers grow, your support is more important to us than ever.

“Everything you do – from eating in our café, hiring our gardeners, becoming a Friend, to buying your Christmas trees from our garden centre*  – makes such a meaningful and positive impact on our charity and students.

“On behalf of everybody at the Trust, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!”

*We will be running our first ever Christmas tree recycling scheme in collaboration with Tree Guys Kent from 2-17 January, so you can support our charity whilst being sustainable!

The Fifth Trust and its social enterprises will be closing for a Christmas break at 12pm on 22 December and will be back on 2 January.