Sending Christmas Cards differently this year?

We LOVE Christmas cards at The Prospects Trust but imagine the work of the Snakehall Farm internal postal service when 65 Co-workers send individual cards to 64 other Co-workers, volunteers, staff and sometimes even themselves? That is a lot of paper, handwriting and…..erm contact.

This year, ‘cos of Covid, we are doing Christmas cards differently. We have a special friend of the Trust who has designed these two special edition art works – one showcasing our very famous Tilly Tractor at Snakehall Farm and the other an Unwrapped “Canopy of Care” created as a mixed media collage even on recycled-repurposed card. We love them and we love our talented Farm Friends who always go the extra acre. Check out her work at NotestoTreasure on Facebook and Instagram.

Unwrapped Canopy of Care Mixed Media Collage
Tilly Tractor Wishes

You can now send these beautiful cards via the Don’t Send Me a Card website, perhaps donating the cost of the stamps or cards to your favourite charity (The Prospects Trust) at the same time?

Click here to Send an E-Card to your friends and family while supporting The Prospects Trust this Christmas

The Value of the Anonymous Donor

Wow! We can’t send you a Co-worker letter of thanks, we can’t name you in our annual accounts, we can’t even look you in the eye and sincerely say thank you to your face but to us here at The Prospects Trust we thank you our amazing Anonymous donor(s).

We have just finished thanking all of our donors supporting our Canopy of Care Crowdfunder and realised just how many anonymous donations we have recieved for this appeal and so many others.

Since we started to use LocalGiving to manage our online donations we have received over £10,000 in anonymous donations, from the one off to the regular monthly donor. This year with our Canopy of Care and Survive to Thrive appeals a staggering £6,700 has been donated by the silent giver.

photo of a coffee cup and rocky road on an Unwrapped napkin with the words "Anonymous" written on the cup

So today we raise our cup of kindness to you, the Anonymous Donor. May your day be as super as you are. You are our nameless hero who is now know as the ones who cannot be thanked. You know who you are and now hopefully you know how much you mean to us all at The Prospects Trust.

We thank you for your support.

To join the ranks of our Unnamed Donors you can donate anonymously or in person here: Local Giving Page

Keep Tilly Tractor Farming!

We have made a “Doorstep” Co-worker film! Last month we delivered Prospects Parcels to our socially isolated Co-workers, safely being supported in their homes during lockdown. We are all missing having our Co-workers on site at Snakehall Farm, serving customers at Unwrapped and keeping everyone’s garden’s tidy in the community. It is the strangest of times so we wanted to share a little joy and connect our people back to our charity.

We are a CARE farm still farming, we are a SOCIAL enterprise still trading but without the people its the trickiest of times. Please share our Keep Tilly Tractor Farming film, please Donate if you can and please stay safe.

  • A big thank you to:
  • all the Co-worker cast (and the behind the scenes support crew – their families and carers),
  • to all the Co-workers who didn’t want to be captured in film but have their own Tilly on a Stick at home and can’t wait to come back,
  • to all those who have supported The Prospects Trust over the past 30 years and are continuing to support us right now,
  • to all of our new and loyal customers who are shopping local and keeping our enterprise trading,
  • to all of our new fundraisers and donors picking a small charity to support we seriously do a little dance for every £5 that gets donated
  • to all of our staff (either staring in the film), working behind the scenes or trying to turn their own gardens into farms during furlough,
  • to our Trustee Board for allowing the already stretched resources to make time for this joy,
  • And a special mention to the talents of our Support Workers Adam T and Adam V for the film and music magic.

Bad Hair? Do Care?

We are launching a new HAIR RAISING fundraiser and we need your support.

https://localgiving.org/appeal/BadHairDoCare/

Simply donate your lockdown Haircut or beard trim cost savings to our Bad Hair Do Care fundraising appeal and help keep our farm growing while our Co-workers are socially shielding.

Step 1: Donate your haircut cost online at: https://localgiving.org/appeal/BadHairDoCare/

Step 2: Share your Bad Hair photo on our @TillyTractor Facebook Page with your donation AND nominate your usual hairdresser or barber* to win a Produce Hamper full of goodies from The Prospects Trust at Snakehall Farm & Prospects Trust Unwrapped. Use the #BadHairDoCare.

Step 3: Grab the scissors and a bowl………………………..there’s only a week between a bad and a good haircut!

*for logistic reasons only please ensure your nominated hairdresser/barber is based in a 20 mile radius of CB25 0HZ or CB7 4EG,

Unwrapped deliver a Hamper of Happiness to Highfield School Ely’s key workers

Ely’s first zero waste greengrocery and refill larder, Prospects Trust Unwrapped, made a special top of the class delivery to its friends at Highfield Ely today while on their busy home delivery rounds.  Highfield School learners have been part of the social enterprise since it opened last September and the team at Unwrapped wanted to send some treats to their frontline friends.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped had to transform its retail offering practically overnight with the early warnings of Covid-19 and in just once month has turned from a “buy just what you need” busy and bustling shop into a non-contact home delivery service of larder bulk buys.  As a registered charity that supports people with additional needs, their mission is #survivetothrive until the time that Unwrapped can reopen and continue to provide innovative social care placements in the shop.

Tom Cockerton, Manager of Prospects Trust Unwrapped said “we have been astounded, and at times overwhelmed, by the swell of customer orders and loyal support to our social enterprise.  It helped that for a short while we were the only shop in Ely to have toilet rolls and bread yeast, which we still have in regular supply.  Our customers are now making weekly orders of our fruit and veg boxes stocked with seasonal and organic produce as well as their core staples of porridge oats and coffee beans.  I like to think in a small way we are not just providing critical groceries we are also keeping in touch with our customer fan base”. 

Prospects Trust Unwrapped closed its café and put a temporary halt to training placements at the end of March before the national lock down began as a quick measure to keep everyone safe, especially their Co-worker trainees. Overnight the shop created a basic online delivery form, using the skills of a returning Uni student and harnessing the whole of the small workforce, launched Unwrapped Home Delivery.

Customers can now select all their regular store cupboard basics and get their family’s five-a-day weekly veg & fruit online.  The staff team prepare the order and give a phone call to the customer to let them know when to expect a non-contact doorstep delivery.  Clare Rees, Unwrapped Support Worker said “we are proud that we can still continue to provide that friendly personal service, something our shielding and vulnerable customers really need in these times.”

Maz Baker, Development Manager for The Prospects Trust said “as a small charity we are facing the hardest of times, as are so many other frontline services and social good causes.  Nobody is excluded from the challenges of Covid-19 but as a charity we want to #StrivetoThrive.  We felt it was right to reach out to other organisations that are providing frontline care to keyworker children, and, our special friends at Highfield School.  The best way to survive is to support each other.  We hope that people will continue to support us by shopping with us at Unwrapped”.

The Prospects Trust has launched a charity appeal, #Survive to Thrive to help the 30 year old charity weather the lockdown and be ready for a bumper harvest with the Co-workers (adults with additional needs) once they are safe to return to their day placements at Snakehall Farm, at Unwrapped and on the Garden Team.  Donations can be made https://localgiving.org/appeal/survivetothrive/ or via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tilly.tractor/posts/2936117949758755.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped was selected as an Aviva Community Fund good cause before the outbreak of Covid-19 and due to the challenging circumstances, Aviva has extended their Crowdfunding period, donations to support Unwrapped can be made online at: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/refill-not-landfill

Unwrapping the Aviva Crowdfunder

We have until lunchtime of the April 22nd to raise £3000 in pledges. We want to Unwrap Unwrapped further and we need your help! Click here to go to the Aviva Crowdfunder Page and pledge your support to The Prospects Trust.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped opened in September 2019 and has started a refill revolution for the local consumers of Ely, but more vitally, it has become the little shop where magic happens.  The Prospects Trust wanted to open a REAL shop to provide REAL work-based training opportunities for people with additional needs. It wanted to create an outlet for all the organic produce sown, grown and harvested by their Snakehall Farm Co-workers and it wanted to give Ely a different way to shop.  In just six months, Unwrapped has been created, launched and now offers 18 placements per week to individuals with additional needs. Unwrapped has already supported 4 learners gain accredited qualifications in retail and food safety and has just enrolled a further 7 learners for 2020.  Unwrapped has created retail opportunities for over 15 local eco artisans in their Craftisan Pods.  Unwrapped has created a sustainable solution to single-use plastic with its novel Refill Larder Wall and loose produce baskets. 

Co-workers creating new dishes from local produce

Now we want to UNWRAP the outside.  We wish to transform the outside of the shop front into an accessible cafe area, with raised bed planters and cycle racks, doggie area and pushchair park.  We want to offer more space for more locals to linger longer in our unique Unwrapped store.  Your support will see us transform an old inaccessible gravel area into an upcycled, recycled and accessible seating area.  By increasing the seating area outside we aim to attract more customers to be served by more Co-workers, helping us put their new found retail skills to the test with the ultimate aim of getting paid employment for our Unwrapped Trainees in their local community.

Unwrap your potential

Prospects Trust Trainee Placements are now available, starting from September 2019, we are bringing a new way to learn on to the high street of Ely. We are looking to recruit 20 new Co-worker Trainees to be our first cohort to gain accredited qualifications in retail and food safety.

Trainee Placement Poster

Take a look at our flexible training programme, with 2 day placements starting from £50 per week. Download our Placement Pack or contact us on 01638 741551 for more information.

Covid-19 & Christmas Break

Prospects Trust Covid-19 Confirmed Cases & Contact During Christmas Closure & Return in 2021.

As a Management Team we have reviewed the likelihood of our people testing positive or coming into close contact with an infected person over the Christmas closure. This page helps you understand the process we ask you to follow if this happens.

Key Dates for The Prospects Trust:

Last Day Snakehall Farm Garden Team Unwrapped
Staff 22nd December 2020 22nd December 2020 24th December 2020
Co-workers 22nd December 2020 22nd December 2020 22nd December 2020
Customer Contact Not applicable 22nd December 2020 upto 3pm December 2020 up to 2pm
First Day 2021 Snakehall Farm Garden Team Unwrapped
Staff Training offsite Tuesday 5th January 2021 Onsite Tuesday 5th January 2021 Saturday 2nd January 2021* TC to confirm
Co-workers Wednesday 6th January 2021 Wednesday 6th January 2021 Wednesday 6th January 2021
Customer Contact Not applicable Wednesday 6th January 2021 Wednesday 6th January 2021

If any of our Staff, Co-workers or Volunteers are confirmed with Covid-19 or are asked to isolate due to contract tracing during our Christmas closure please email the following information to: [email protected] This email will be checked once a day throughout our closure. 

Please use the Subject Heading: Covid-19 Confirmed Case and complete all information below

Name of Co-worker  
Name & contact details of person completing the information:  
Date of Positive Covid Test taken and confirmed:  
Dates of Isolation period:  
Date last attending The Prospects Trust:  

We are planning on welcoming back all Co-workers from Wednesday 6th January 2021.  Any guidance regarding Covid-19 issued over the next two weeks will impact our service delivery in the new year.  At this time, unless further restrictions are implemented by Government or our Local Authorities, it is our intention to remain open to Co-worker placement provision across all sites (Snakehall Farm, Garden Team and Unwrapped).  If we move into Tier 3 we will work with our local authorities to remain open.  If we move into Tier 4 we will be expected to close all but essential provision.  Tier 4 will close most direct day provision unless on a case-by-case individual risk assessment however will move to remote support and virtual Co-worker engagement plans. All communication will be visible on this page.

If any Co-worker contracts Covid-19 over the Christmas Closure, or comes into contact with a positive case we ask you to complete the form above and ask the Co-worker to not return until we have risk assessed their safety and the safety of others.  Reporting any incident via Email will trigger the Managers to review and alert others that have come into contact.  We will work with Track and Trace throughout the Christmas site closure for the safety of all.

If any of our Staff contract Covid-19 or are asked to self-isolate we ask you to follow the same procedure as above.  Your line manager will be in touch before you can return to work. If we enter a different Tier Staff Bulletin will be posted onto BreatheHR, please make sure you can access this and check before traveling to your First Aid Training or place of work on Tuesday 5th January 2021.

If any of our Volunteers or Site Workers contract Covid-19 or are asked to self-isolate we ask you to follow the same procedure as above.  

If any of our Customers contract Covid-19 we ask you to follow the Government Track and Trace system.

#Social Distance Santa

“We know him!” shout the whole of Snakehall Farm! Last week we had a very special visitor, complying with the full PPE Covid Risk Assessment and creating a little Christmas magic for our Co-workers.

Social Distanced Santa at Snakehall Farm

Social Distance Santa has a full health check and donned his PPE especially to give our Co-workers their Annual Achievement Certificates, their Christmas Gift and a few treats.

Santa was supported by Buddy the Elf(dog) who failed to be a great help to the over worked Santa as he was more interested in the sausage rolls!

Buddy the Elf

Here are some of the photos of the Fella in Red meeting our Co-workers at Snakehall Farm, perhaps you can see your friends here?

Ho Ho Ho Seedballs for you!

We really hope you like your little token of thank you? If you are one of our amazing Co-workers or super Volunteers who have recieved a little box of blooming magic this Christmas please DON’T EAT THEM they are not chocolates just a little box of flowers to sow and grow and make 2021 beautiful.

For more details about how and when to grow your little gift from The Prospects Trust and our lovely supplier visit: https://seedball.co.uk/how/

The Art of “Trees”

Here at Prospects Trust HQ aka Snakehall Farm we love a bit of Corporate Support. We offer great corporate volunteering, sponsorship and acres of CSR opportunities for our local and national businesses to engage with. We have noticed that one visit is never enough and we are really grateful we have made some lasting links with good businesses doing even more good.

Even in these Covid times the goodwill keeps coming, we are so grateful to the team at Employee Volunteering for linking us up with Astra Zeneca (we didn’t stop them from working on their solution to rid us of the virus) in November 2020 as a think tank at ways we can be resilient in these challenging times. Yes Trip Advisor pages for Unwrapped is a must!

The Art of Flooring has been one of our officially “good” businesses and they have supported us for many years. Farmer Mark and his farm team want to create hedged protection around the open field plots, to help protect our precious organic crops but also to provide new natural habitats for our little creatures essential for our natural way of life. Art of Flooring loved this project, offsetting their carbon footprint by helping create a green and muddy foot print on our farm. Before lockdown 0.1 they donated trees with the hope of another team day digging in the fresh air on the farm, then Covid hit. We improvised and we are pleased to showcase Farmer Mark’s baubles on the trees and hedgerows we planted this year.

Art of Flooring create new green boundaries at Snakehall Farm

Shoveling the Hovel 2020

2020 has been a strange year I think we are all agreed? For all of us at The Prospects Trust 2019 was EPIC. We celebrated 30 years of our amazing charitable enterprise, supported over 60 Co-workers with additional needs at Snakehall Farm AND we even opened a shop. We marked our 30th anniversary milestone by boldly attempting to raise £30K for 30 Years in order to Shovel the Hovel and Make more room for tea!

Photo of Co-workers outside the Hovel before the renovation work
The Hovel in 2019

We (you) raised the £30K needed to entirely renovate an old dilapidated farm barn, the Hovel, our build was due to start in the spring of 2020 and be fully in use by now. However Covid happened and new, exciting, progression got sidelined by risk assessments, face coverings and washing our hands (lots). Here at The Prospects Trust we are not going to let a little global catastrophe like Covid dampen our can do attitude and we are pleased to report our Shovel the Hovel Project is back on track. In fact its nearly complete!

We will update this post with lots of lovely images, perhaps even a film, if we can stop washing our hands and wiping the screen of the Ipad, to show you just what great things we do with your grants, donations and support at The Prospects Trust.

Co-worker David learns how to plaster the new Tea Barn area for all of his Farm Friends

Thank you to every fundraising runner, corporate volunteer, trust fund trustee or grant officer who donated to this appeal. Thank you too to everyone who attended our 30th Anniversary Farm Open Day, our big community fundraising event of September 2019. Wow just think 2000+ people in a field dancing, hugging and using real money – that really was so last year!

Canopy of Care Appeal 2020

Canopy of Care Promotional Logo & Image of customers and volunteers at the front of Unwrapped in Ely, Cambridgeshire

Click here to Donate on Local Giving

The Prospects Trust Unwrapped Canopy of Care project is going to create “more than just a place to sit” for the community of Ely & East Cambridgeshire. We wish to install a commercial grade canopy across our outside fully accessible seating area outside of Unwrapped, LuvEly’s Community Larder and Lighthouse Community Centre to enable our Co-workers, Customers and Community Groups to have a safe place to interact (at a distance).  Our Canopy of Care will be a physical hug of a cover to those suffering isolation during Covid.  We wish to create a well-managed safe place in the heart of Ely where people can still meet in the winter, outside and supported. Pre and during Covid-19 many Community support groups have used Unwrapped as a meeting point.  The Canopy of Care will cover our outside well-spaced seating to enable this vital human interaction to continue and make sure that everyone has someone to care for and be cared by. 

In Sept 2019 our local and very established charity opened a very new and innovative social enterprise – Unwrapped, Ely’s first Zero Waste, Eco-Refill Larder & truly GREEN-grocery. A year of trading and Unwrapped has put social enterprise on the Ely high street, with young people with additional needs at the heart of action, making the barista pro coffee, serving customers on state of the art tills and creating fantastic products from the shop and farm produce.  But imagine running a zero single use plastic refill store & farm food café in the middle of a Global Pandemic, its been interesting.  However what we learnt – we can survive this together.

Over lockdown we reduced the internal head count, created hand sanitiser stations, provided free home delivery to our shielding customers and sadly removed our internal seating to make room for “social distancing”. Our staff and Co-worker Teams were the first to wear face coverings in the City, making Covid precautions a new norm, vital as we support some of the most vulnerable in our society.  This summer we created a whole new outside seating area from donations, crowdfunding and lots of upcycling creativity. Our customers flocked to support our (their) enterprise; shopping local, seasonally, sustainably and supporting Unwrapped as we dare to retail differently. They even helped create the planters outside our seating area, help lay foundations and erect the benches, tables and give back their time and expertise to make it happen. All this was tricky while the sun shined – now Winter is indeed coming and we wish to create a little Canopy of Care to keep that warmth in all of our hearts. 

Donate a tenner and kick off our Crowdstarter, donate £20 to be our Crowdpleaser and if you can £50 to be our Chief Crowdonor! Keep it local, keep safe and keep happy at Prospects Trust Unwrapped – retailing differently since before Covid-19 and unwrapping more than just a place to sit!

Thank you to all of our supporters to date – we have already raised a third of our appeal total – lets make Lockdown worth something and have something to look forward to when we can meet up again!