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What is Supported Work Training?

Our Supported Work Training programme is based on our farm site in Beckley, East Sussex. We offer a variety of different activity groups that allow adults with autism and learning disabilities to learn specific tasks as well as improving their work skills, such as their communication, teamwork and confidence. This allows our trainees to become more independent and build up their skillset leading up to getting a paid job. We also run two social enterprises; with cut flowers and charcoal. These allow our trainees to gain workplace specific goals such as customer service skills, using IT and maintaining stock.


We take a holistic approach to learning, wanting to assist our trainees in every area that they may need support. This can include helping with benefits and housing, supporting their overall wellbeing and signposting to other services. Whether it be practicing self-care or ordering a drink in a café, we want to build up our trainees to live and support themselves independently in every area of their life, to ensure their success in their paid roles. The training process itself has great benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of our trainees, and can spark lifelong friendships.


A survey of our work trainees found that…

  • 100% of our trainees say that they feel more confident.
  • 89% say we have helped them be able to make their own choices and decisions.
  • 78% say their time management and organisational skills have improved.


It’s to help me to be able to step out of my comfort zone and to improve my mental health.

– Kiether, Work Trainee

A professional ethos

The key to our success is that the whole training programme is run as a workplace. We emulate a working farm environment to ensure our trainees have a good understanding of what a typical workplace is like prior to getting a job. Many of our trainees have never had paid work so will not know what to expect, so we want to best prepare them to ensure success.

This professional ethos ensures our trainees also learn more fundamental capabilities such as leadership, time management, quality of work, health and safety, professional conduct and communication.


I’m here to make new skills, build my confidence, make new friends and make sure I’ve got the proper attitude and words to say at work.

– Thomas, Work Trainee

Personal achievement

Each trainee is assessed so we can understand the roles which they are best suited to, their interests and career aspirations.

All our trainees are focused on using the working sessions to improv their confidenceindependence and communication –  as well as learning particular job skills.

We help trainees to set themselves specific, personal goals to achieve. Not only does this mean that every person receives training and objectives which are suitable to them, it also gives trainees an enormous sense of achievement when the goals are reached.

Training in Systematic Instruction

To maximise the benefits of training for our trainees, and therefore, ultimately, for their employers, we use Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI). This is a highly structured approach to training practical tasks. Every task is broken down into its individual components and each part is taught separately.

The essence of TSI is to encourage the initiation of each step in a task, through a series of prompts. As the trainee gains confidence, the prompts are reduced. The trainer only steps in when the trainee is about to make the wrong decision during a step in the task. The trainer corrects them before any mistakes are made, thereby preventing the need for any negative feedback.

The result is that the trainee is motivated to complete the task for themselves and without constant prompting from the trainer. This increases confidence and independence, better readying them for paid work.

I come to Little Gate because its really adventurous, you get loads of new skills and meet new people. It’s the best!

– Rosie, Work Trainee

Journey Through the Farm

The process starts with applying to Little Gate Farm and coming on a tour of the site. Next, applicants can attend 2 taster days to get a feel for what a typical day at the farm is like. Once funding is approved, applicants will then officially start as trainees.

Trainees will start on our farm site, settling in and learning different skills. We will work with them to identify their goals and ambitions as keep developing at the farm, supporting them in the areas they have identified. When ready, trainees will be offered work experience opportunities to help them identify what jobs they do and don’t enjoy, and any further areas for development.

When trainees are in paid work, they will receive support from a job coach. The job coach will help the trainee to learn the role, aiming to get them to work independently. Once job coach support is fully withdrawn, trainees will then graduate from the farm. Upon graduation, trainees will receive a trophy and graduation leaf so that their achievement is always remembered at the farm.

Trainees can then access our jobs forum, which offers ongoing employment support.

This professional ethos ensures our trainees also learn more fundamental capabilities such as leadership, time management, quality of work, health and safety, professional conduct and communication.