On Friday 22nd October, 2021, Ferring Country Centre were delighted to welcome Joe Marler, the popular professional rugby union player, to officially open their fantastic new Woodwork Workshop.

Hannah Tombs, CEO at Ferring Country Centre, warmly welcomed everybody and gave a brief history of The Centre providing context for the new building. She explained that Funds raised by the 2018-19 Mayor of Worthing’s Charity Committee had enabled The Centre to equip the workshop. She continued that Ferring Country Centre were privileged to have received funding from Wooden Spoon, charity of Rugby, to construct the building. She expressed gratitude and thanked both the Mayoral committee and Wooden Spoon for their generous support in bringing this exciting, life changing project to life.

Sandy Fleming, Sussex Chairman of Wooden Spoon attended the opening and gave an informative talk about the Wooden Spoon Charity and their work in the community. Wooden Spoon’s mission is to positively transform the lives of children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage through the power of the rugby network and connections. The region generously provided a grant of £20,124 towards the project. Also attending the opening was Bob Rogers who, as well as being Chairman to the Trustees at Ferring Country Centre, is also Honorary President of The Sussex Region of Wooden Spoon.

Simon Livesley, Head of Operations, spoke passionately about what the Workshop will mean to the Day Service Customers. He explained that people with special needs also aspire and wish to contribute to society, just like anyone else. He explained that the items they will produce in the Workshop will be a source of pride and build confidence, providing tangible evidence of their achievements.

The Day Service Customers at Ferring Country Centre have already enjoyed using the new facilities to make beautiful bird boxes and hedgehog houses. These lovingly made, handmade products can be bought in the Gift Shop at Ferring Country Centre and would make a lovely Christmas present!

The vision is that the workshop will be used as a resource for the community as well as a Day Service Resource and Ferring Country Centre are looking forward to getting involved in larger projects involving the wider community.