We provide a safe, dignified and fulfilling experience for our students – but we continually strive to make what we do even better.

Our skills centre in Barham has reached the end of its usable life. Huts that were built to get us started almost 30 years ago are now beyond simple make do and mend. The facilities are basic. We want more for our students.

The exciting news is that we have now raised over £1.5 million in grants and donations from members of the public, companies and other charitable bodies and in February 2021 were able to start on three environmentally efficient linked buildings to provide new classrooms for media, photography and design; arts and crafts; and an amenity hub. The redevelopment is due to be completed in early 2022.

The new buildings will replace our existing facilities and provide a better environment for students in energy efficient spaces. The redevelopment will allow us to meet existing demand but we will also create new services:

supporting learning disabled adults with profound physical conditions

a life skills programme for transitional students enabling them to live independently

The new build will enable us to increase our student capacity by at least 20% and the extra revenue will enable us to employ more staff – which in a rural area is a real benefit to the wider community. 

We envisage increased revenues that will cover our overheads and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the Trust. Our aim is to support at least 180 adults with learning disabilities each week once the new buildings are operational.

We are grateful to have had the support of Pam Ferris as an ambassador for this ambitious appeal. The acclaimed TV and film actress said: “I’m lucky to have the garden centre and café as part of my community. They are great places for anyone to visit, but the more I learn about their underlying purpose, the more I want to help The Fifth Trust.”

*We are close to our target but still need to raise funds to fit out the new buildings. If you wish to donate any amount, we are extremely grateful. Please click the button below to find out how to make a donation.

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CEO Nikki Marley breaks the ground for the new skills centreNew skills centre under construction