YOUNG farmers in Winsford have been having a bumper November.  

Rangers and staff at Let’s Farm celebrated the project’s second birthday this month while doing the rounds of the county’s glitzy business awards circuit.

Let’s Farm was set up by Darnhall farmer, Rosie Lee, and learning disability champion, Nicola Colenso, to help over-18s with learning disabilities avoid the 'skills cliff-edge' they face on leaving full-time education.

While working as a farm ‘ranger’, the project gives them a chance to learn valuable skills, build meaningful relationships, and to experience life on a real, 100-acre working farm.

Northwich Guardian: Let's Farm turned two in NovemberLet's Farm turned two in November (Image: Let's Farm)

In July, the team was awarded first prize for innovation at the prestigious Cheshire County Farms Competition 2023, which they received at a ceremony at Nantwich Civic Hall on Saturday, November 4.

They were also invited to Chester Racecourse on Friday, November 17, for West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce’s glitzy annual ball, where they were named ‘start-up of the year’ for 2023.   

Northwich Guardian: Ranger Paul Miller with a piglet just a few hours oldRanger Paul Miller with a piglet just a few hours old (Image: Let's Farm)

Let’s Farm co-founder, Nicola Colenso, says the whole team are ‘over the moon’, adding: “I never imagined the project would come so far, so fast.

“But I’ve always believed there’s a demand for meaningful occupations for young people with learning disabilities.

"There's not much out there for them when they leave school. It's a bit of a cliff edge for them in terms of skills. 

Northwich Guardian: Ranger Liam Peers has got lambing coveredRanger Liam Peers has got lambing covered (Image: Let's Farm)

"We're trying to fix that by offering work which brings real quality of life, which obviously has a knock-on effect on their mental health and well-being.

“It’s about having something to get up for which is meaningful rather than tokenistic.

"And they’re learning every day. They get work-based skills, but also social skills.

"I’m learning every day myself. There’s always something new on the farm - no two days are ever the same.

"That’s a big part of the attraction. It’s always very exciting around here.  

“It’s amazing to see new life being born all the time. Just this morning one of our guinea pigs had four pups.”

As well as scooping up awards, it’s been a bumper year for the project on the farming front too.

Following a successful lambing season in early spring, they’ve welcomed new calves, piglets, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. 

“We've also got a new sideline selling chicks and ducklings directly to the public, and a few guinea pigs and rabbits too,” Nicola added.

“It’s great revenue on the farming side, but it also means the public gets a chance to come and see what we’re up to.

“We are looking forward to an exciting 2024, with loads of new and fantastic initiatives planned.”