Nestled in the heart of the Howardian Hills, in the picturesque village of Gilling East sits a renovated barn, home to an artisan chocolate factory and shop offering training and placements for young adults with autism and associated disabilities.
Set up by Yorkshire charity Autism Plus, a range of chocolate treats are handcrafted on site from flavoured infused bars to decadent truffles, each with their own story – lovingly created, decorated and packaged by young people on the autism spectrum supported by a small team.
But there is more to Park House Barns than just chocolate. In partnership with Easi Works in Easingwold, together the projects offer a range of vocational and therapeutic opportunities for young people who have autism and learning disabilities in North Yorkshire.
Opportunities range from learning the art of chocolate crafting to hospitality, art therapy, drama and music, animal therapy, horticulture, self advocacy and volunteering. They also run social events such as quiz and movie nights, which have been delivered virtually during lockdown.
Beyond the renovated barn sits five acres of fields where fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown and sold locally and used in the chocolate recipes.
The outdoor space is currently being developed with plans to renovate further buildings to create more workspaces, including plans for a disability friendly sensory nature trail and outdoor workshops.
The chocolate shop has new COVID safe measures in place and is open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am – 3pm, please observe the notices and wait outside for assistance. You can also shop online at www.parkhousebarns.co.uk
Park House Barns, Pottergate, Gilling East, North Yorkshire YO62 4JA
Tel: 01439 787185