Trustees of Little Gate Farm

John Hassell O.B.E. – Chair

John HassellI have been a teacher for 38 years and a headteacher for 24 of those years. My headship was at a school for children aged 2 to 19 who had a range of severe and profound and multiple disabilities.

Alongside headship I worked as an Ofsted inspector, an adviser to other schools and as a lecturer. I am now an independent education consultant.

I believe those with disabilities often have hugely untapped potential and an ability to make a real contribution. This often becomes most apparent as these young people leave formal education. Little Gate Farm seeks to address this through an outdoor environment and through the vehicle of farming and forestry.  I feel extremely privileged to be associated with the project and its potential impact on young people’s lives.

Leigh Bennett – Treasurer

Leigh BennettI am a proud father of a beautiful daughter with Down’s Syndrome, so therefore I hold Care Farms and other similar entities very close to my heart. I was introduced to Little Gate Farm via a third party and was immediately inspired by the people involved, the farm itself and the objectives they have in place.

Day to day I am a qualified financial adviser running my own practice, with over 10 years in the financial industry sector. As such when I learnt that Little Gate Farm were seeking a treasurer, I immediately offered my services and am now very proud to be part of this fantastic project.

Heidi Haddow – General Trustee

Heidi HaddowHello, my name is Heidi Haddow and I am delighted to be a trustee for ‘Little Gate Farm’. I have past experience being a trustee at St.Mary’s special school in Bexhill on sea. I have two daughters, one of whom attended school at St.Mary’s for ten years.

I am the owner of a residential care home, registered for 43 older people in Bexhill, which I have owned since 1988. I am experienced in running my own business, together with all the constraints and challenges this can often bring, and in the recruitment of staff, presently employing approximately thirty people.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my children (albeit a taxi service most of the time), and spending time with family and friends.

Fiona Kellett – General Trustee

Fiona KellettI am a chartered management accountant and qualified project manager with thirty years experience in senior health service management roles in both commissioning and provider organisations.

Over the years I have been involved in a  variety of financial management, service redesign and capital build projects and have previously worked on the planning and delivery of community services for adults with learning disabilities in the south east.

I am currently Head of Finance for a local NHS organisation and have a particular interest in the introduction of personal health budgets and the provision of services for adults with long term conditions

I am also a governor of a small school with charitable status and have two daughters one still at school locally and one now at university.

I am really looking forward to getting involved in this exciting and much welcomed project which will extend the opportunities available in this part of East Sussex and am also hoping to get some hands on experience and new challenges with the animals!

George Kane – Secretary

I have been involved in education for the last twenty years, working at various times as a Basic Skills tutor, Additional Learning Support Co-ordinator, Family Support Keyworker and most recently as Office Manager for a charity which supports vulnerable children and adults in the local area.

I am aware of how vital it is to widen, extend and enhance the opportunities which are available to learning disabled adults. I believe that Little Gate Farm succeeds in doing this in a unique and holistic way and feel very privileged to be a Trustee – and occasional story-teller!