hftThe small village located off Hever Road on Phillippines Close (Edenbridge TN8 5GN) has had a few names over the years – CARE, Self Unlimited – and is now run by hft (Home Farm Trust) North Kent. I met with Hospitality Manager Phillip Diggens and Operations & Events Manager Mel Gibson to find out about this great place that has so much going on.

The main purpose of hft is to support people with learning disabilities and here they are able to learn many skills to help them into employment. There are many on site facilities to help them achieve this.

The Oak Tree Bistro
Open from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays, you’ll find a wide range of food available – cooked breakfasts, lunches, tea, coffee, ice cream – and you will be Thomas cakeamazed at the prices too. This is a real hidden gem and a perfect venue to meet up with friends for a catch up. Oh, and of course there are the cakes… Pastry Chef Emma really is a real talent and as well as making cakes to supply to a number of local outlets they can also be made to order for special occasions. If you want a Thomas the Tank Engine, a flaDragon cakeme throwing dragon or almost anything else you can think of, she is the lady to see. With Easter around the corner you might want to order an Easter cake or Hot Cross Buns.


Stay Green Bed & Breakfast
The B&B is a fairly new feature in the grounds of hft, providing very eco-friendly accommodation – with a wind turbine, solar panels, and much more. At the beginning of the year it was voted 8th in the “Late Rooms Awards” in the Hostel category and you can read excellent customer reviews online on the Trip Advisor website. The B&B is open to individuals, groups, families and anyone looking for affordable accommodation in the area, at extremely reasonable rates. There is also WiFi throughout the building and disabled access.

Leaflet Distribution
I hadn’t realised until my visit that this service was available from here and I’m sure that now you all know about it, it will become very popular indeed, particularly with the local business community. Contact Andrew Pocock on 01732 782 714 to find out more.

Hall Hire
The halls are already used by a number of groups and organisations in and around the area. The local Rotary Club have a meeting with a 3 course meal every Monday evening in the large hall and the smaller hall is used for exercise classes and other activities. Prices start from £10 per hour for the small hall and £15 per hour for the large hall.

Knit and Natter
Every second Monday there is a free meeting of knitting enthusiasts who knit goods to be sold to raise money for hft. Beginners as well as advanced knitters are welcome to the group and they are always looking for wool donations.

hft Spring Fair – 28th March
More details on the Events page (18). Stalls cost £10 each or are free for charities. Contact Mel direct on 01732 782 707 to book a space.
For hospitality and other enquiries contact Phil on 01732 782 724 or turn to page 22.

Featured in: Issue 75 – March/April 2015