Leading disability charity, Papworth Trust, has recently used a donation from the Monsanto Fund to obtain an Avant 420 compact, multi-purpose tool carrier as a key piece of equipment for its 12 acre farm near Newtown in Powys.
For many families affected by disability, Papworth Trust’s Cilthriew Kerry Farm is able to provide supported breaks where the natural environment and a variety of animals can be enjoyed. This environment gives visitors the chance to improve their physical and mental wellbeing and the ‘whole family’ approach helps them learn to cope better with the challenges and pressures of disability when they return home.
Commenting on the acquisition of the Avant, farm manager Natalie Webster said: “We had almost given up hope of ever finding a suitable machine until we were introduced to the Avant by a local machinery dealer.
“As soon as we saw it”, continued Ms. Webster, “we knew it was perfect for us as it was the only machine we’d seen that ticked all the boxes in terms of size, versatility and ease of use.”
A 420 model was therefore soon delivered by Beddoes Compact Plant Sales, complete with standard bucket, a mower attachment, harrow and set of pallet forks and all within the farm’s available budget thanks to a sharp pencil!
Staff at Kerry Farm now find it easy to support disabled visitors as they move from their wheelchairs onto the Avant’s seat – sometimes using a simple slide arrangement. Once in position and the simple joystick control mastered, visitors are soon having a great time carrying out various tasks around the land from cutting grass to collecting firewood.
“The Avant really does level the playing field for our guests”, said Ms. Webster, “so they can enjoy independently making a real contribution to the day-to-day running of the farm whilst they are with us”.
The Avant 420 model chosen for use at Kerry Farm is powered by a reliable Kubota 14 kW (20 hp) engine and features an off-centre boom to provide the driver with an unrestricted view of the job in hand. Weighing in at just 980 kg, the machine is equipped as standard with a ROPS safety frame with a tinted plexiglass roof cover and its hydrostatic drive gives a useful speed range from 0 – 12 km/h.