Uncle Paul’s Chilli Farm provides a unique environment where young people and adults, who may have experienced social disadvantage or barriers to learning or employment, can enjoy an alternative environment in which to learn and develop new skills, experience and qualifications needed for successful and sustainable employment.
As you would expect from the name, this brilliantly conceived charity specialises in growing chillis of all shapes, sizes and origins, and through agriculture and land based studies it can offer a broad range of vocational training to suit the interests and talents of all participants. This includes growing produce, retail experience in the farm shop, hospitality in the cafe, food production, business administration, customer care, animal husbandry and livestock welfare and breeding.
Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity puts mentoring at the heart of the participant experience; with mentors and specialist staff spending time with every individual, gaining insight into their background, outlook, learning styles, strengths and areas of need. This tailored and supportive approach aids the development of individual strategies, enabling participants to take responsibility for their own learning and progression.
Martin Fey is the Chair of the Charity Trust board and along with the other founder board members, Mark Lewis, Jacqui Ford, Pete Sloman, Steve Morrison, Gary Teagle and adviser Nick Phillips are responsible for the ground-breaking, incredibly constructive and positive concept behind Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity.
The charity is also proud of its successful partnership with Weston College, a local outstanding provider of education, that acts as the charity’s educational advisor, in collaboration with the incredible team at the farm led by Pete Lane; who are all specialists and professionally qualified. This diverse support means that Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity consistently delivers really engaging, worthwhile programmes of activity which focus on developing self-belief and building confidence – using a learning model that is proven to inspire, empower and lead to success for its participants.
MEET THE TEAM
Martin Fey is a founder member of the Charity and is Chair of the Trust Board.
Martin has worked in finance all his life and has a proven track record of success. For many years he worked as a Branch Manager for a major international Bank where he was the driving force for its success. He has a vast knowledge and experience of banking including retail banking, commercial lending, and credit risk. Martin is qualified through the Associate of Chartered Institute of Bankers.
He retired from the Bank in 2015 and he now dedicates much of his time to giving back to the community where he resides. His philosophy has always been customer first and Martin applies this approach to the Charity, and it is the young people and adults who access the charity that drive his decision making. His calm approach coupled with his eye for detail and experience of managing large professional teams ensures he is an excellent Chair for the Trust.
Martin has a great love of golf and is bell ringer at his local church.
Mark Lewis is a founder member of the Charity and Trust Board and is a highly successful property developer, investor, and businessman.
He has a vast experience of partnership building across many professional areas and he is an excellent communicator and an extremely skilled negotiator. Mark has a strong track record of managing many large successful projects and diverse teams. He is an outstanding leader who is solution focussed and innovative. He is professionally qualified through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.
Mark has been integral to the development of the charity and his commitment to improving the lives of those most in need has been demonstrated by his exceptional generosity of both his time and his resources.
When Mark is away from work, he has a great passion for sea water swimming and enjoys raising money for a number of charities through this pursuit.
Pete is a founder member of the Charity and Trust board.
He has a wealth of experience and is currently employed as the Chief Operating Officer of a large FE institution, Weston College, where he has oversight of many college systems including Information Technology, Examinations, Management Information, Estates and Facilities and Finance.
Previously, Pete spent many years in senior finance roles in the public sector, firstly with North Somerset council and then the Planning Inspectorate. Pete is well qualified in his field, he is a fully qualified accountant and also holds a master’s degree in Accounting from the University of West of England.
Pete has a great love of sport particularly Rugby, Cricket and Bowls.
Steve Morrison is a founder member of the Charity and Trust Board and is a highly accomplished Supply Chain Manager.
He has 33 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management working within the Aerospace industry. He is a proven leader with a successful track record of delivering complex supply chain solutions working within cross-functional teams.
Steve is a highly motivated, determined individual, who works well in high pressure situations and within a team environment. He adopts a continuous improvement approach and has extensive experience of lean management and supplier performance management.
He has excellent project management skills, working as part of a team to empathise with suppliers to create foundation for change, involving innovative and flexible ideas using a strong commercial background to deliver on time and within budget.
He is professionally qualified through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.
He has three adult children. His eldest is 25 years old who has learning difficulties, which gives him a parent’s insight into the difficulties faced by young adults with learning difficulties and is able to give an invaluable parental perspective to the Trust Board.
Steve is a keen sports fan and founded Aller Park Rangers FC in 2004, providing football coaching for local children aged 4-16.
Gary Teagle is a founder member of the Charity and Trust board and is an experienced leisure contract manager with over 25 years of senior management
Gary has worked for Sports and Leisure Management for over 14 years, and currently oversees the operation of 7 leisure facilities.
Gary is a highly experienced professional manager with a proven track record of success. He has extensive experience in all aspects leisure centre operations including Finance, Human Resources / People Development, Sales & Marketing / Business Development, Health & Safety, Event management, Client Relationships and Site maintenance.
Away from work Gary works hard at keeping fit, enjoys the theatre and concerts and he is an avid fan of football particularly Bristol City for over 40 years!
Jacqui is a founder member of the Charity and Trust Board.
Jacqui is a highly experienced senior leader who has worked in the further education sector for over 25 years. Jacqui started her early working life in the NHS as a qualified nurse. After graduating from University of West of England with a BA (Hons) in Social Science she started a career in further education as a support worker for students with special education needs and disability and progressed through several leadership roles to Deputy Principal. Her portfolio of experience and responsibility includes curriculum innovation, SEND, adult education, partnership, setting up a Multi Academy Trust.
Jacqui is committed to inclusion and inclusive practice and ensures she is able to effectively advise the board on the best practice for working young people and adults who have experienced social disadvantage or barriers to learning. Her passion for quality education for all has seen her deliver both regional and national systems of support for young people and adults with additional needs.
Jacqui is an experienced governor for schools, and she has previously set up a trust board for a multi academy trust.
Away from work, Jacqui enjoys keeping fit, travelling, and spending time with her family.
Pete is an adviser to the Trust Board.
Pete has two main driving passions in life, outdoor education, and music. He is a keen environmentalist, and he has a deep interest in soil science and traditional organic horticultural practice. He is a highly experienced teacher, and he has supported and taught a multitude of young people and adults from the ages of 14 years to the over 50’s, promoting the benefits of outdoor education and land-based studies. He is qualified as an advanced forest school leader and has facilitated and coordinated many educational vacations, trips and visits.
Pete has created award winning gardens and community projects in schools, care centres and hospitals. For the past 11 years he has worked within a large further education college as a successful lecturer and personal tutor, and he has created and maintained a large productive garden and outdoor learning environment. Pete brings his knowledge, experience and skill to Butcombe Farm to ensure that all young people and adults accessing the charity have the best experience and opportunities for future success.
Pete’s primary motivation is to bring people together to celebrate and enjoy the benefits of learning and being outdoors in nature. Away from his working day his hobbies include writing and recording music to play in bands. Pete also loves spending time with his family and their little dog Boo.
Nick is an adviser to the Trust Board.
Nick is a business development professional with an MA(Ed) in Post Compulsory Education from University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). He is a highly experienced governor, trustee, and director with a history of working in the education, community, and care sectors. He has a vast knowledge, understanding and experience of non-profit organisations, social enterprises, project management and coaching that enables him to advise the Trust board on many relevant and compliance issues for the charity.
For the past four years Nick has successfully been a Partnership Manager for the West of England Works. This project is an exciting partnership which aims to help unemployed and economically inactive people in the West of England find employment. The partnership includes a range of voluntary and community organisations based in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset. These organisations have the specialist skills in working with individuals including those from a BME background, carers, ex-offenders, those with disabilities or long-term health issues. This experience ensures Nick is an outstanding adviser to the Trust Board.
Away from the workplace Nick enjoys making the most of living in the countryside and can regularly be found walking different stretches of the South West Coast Path. He also is also a keen photographer and home baker.
Weston College is an outstanding Further Education provider and as a National Leader and Centre for Excellence for Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) they are an excellent partner and education advisor to Uncle Paul’s Chilli charity.
They share the charities ideals and ethos of inclusion and their specialist staff have been delivering education at the farm since the beginning of the 2020 academic year.
Everyone Active is a leading leisure management company. They specialise in the development and management of over 190 leisure and cultural facilities across the UK in partnership with 60 local authorities. They are as passionate about their people as they are about encouraging everyone to take part in activity. They are a great supporter of Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity and are committed to helping young people and adults in transforming their lives.
Friends of M.V. Freedom
MV FreedomFriends of M.V. Freedom provide access to the sea for people living with disability. They have generously offered to support Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity by giving our young people and adults the exciting opportunity to experience the joys of the sea.
ConciergeUK is a highly successful event management company and facilitator of unique VIP experiences that is committed to helping those in need by supporting charities at its events and is a great supporter of Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity.
Simpson’s seeds and plants are based in West Wiltshire and specialise in seeds and plantlets for the Kitchen Garden. Their philosophy has always been to grow and try out as much of a range as possible, flavour is their number one priority.
They have a huge range of chilli and tomato seeds and are a great supporter to Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity and have happily shared their knowledge and experience with us and ensured the charities great success in growing chilli’s this year.
The Lewis Family Partnership
The Lewis Family Partnership was founded over 20 years ago and is a highly successful family run investment and property development company across the South West. They take pride in making philanthropic strides by regularly giving, supporting, and raising money for charities and their community. As the owners of Butcombe farm they have offered Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity dedicated areas and resources for the sole use to deliver education to young people with a wide range of barriers to learning and social disadvantage.
All proceeds from the produce grown at the farm, or from other organisations accessing the farm will be donated to Uncle Paul’s Chilli Charity and will be used to re-invest into further development and future growth for the charity. The partnership has also offered the young people and adults who access the farm the opportunity for education residentials at their campsite on the Jurassic Coast.
Uncle Paul’s Chilli Farm have been busy working with Weston College since September 2020. So far, we have successfully and consistently delivered education sessions for 5 days a week.
There are currently 15 polytunnels for growing produce and two for small animals. This significant investment enhances the experience of young people and adults when accessing the farm. We have also zoned the tunnels to enable our people to access the different aspects of the farm depending upon their own interests and needs.
The farm has been growing chilli’s and have already produced enough for up to 2 years; enabling the successful production of chilli sauce on site. Langford Nursery is to be our home for a kitchen and shop and are currently under development.
We have also created space with four caravans to enable classroom-based activities to be carried out as well a space for comfort breaks and refreshments.
Our latest successes include being able to offer three young people the opportunity to gain employment via the government’s ‘Kickstart’ programme’.
Uncle Paul’s Chilli Farm is continuing to grow at a fast pace, with even more opportunities being created for young people, such as free residential vacations on the Jurassic Coast donated by Lewis Family Partnership (LFP), with free boat trips provided by MV Freedom.
We have many more aspirations for this wonderful charity, all with supporting our local community at the heart of them. There are plans for the development of a community cafe, showcasing our produce as well as utilising a further 20 acres of farmland at Butcombe to further advance the educational experience. We are also in the process of developing introductory courses on beekeeping too, so we will be sure to keep you updated as things progress.