Project information

Gorgie City Farm Youth Project

Our project is to work with young peopled aged 13-18 years who are disadvantaged as a result of difficulties in mainstream education and/or physical and mental health disabilities, and engages them in education through the practical care of small animals.

March 2012 - March 2014

Charity information: Gorgie City Farm

Gorgie City Farm logo
  • Need


    Some young people have a difficult start to life. They can fail to attend school, engage in challenging behaviour, and they can be at risk of drug and alcohol misuse. Many of them lack the support, skills and motivation to succeed in education, training or employment. Our project provides a springboard whereby young people are enabled to build self-confidence, self-esteem and relationship skills in order to make progress in their lives and to move towards education and employment.


    The young people complete a supported learning programme about animals and how to handle, feed and house them. We refer to young people as 'volunteers' rather than 'clients', emphasizing the positive contribution they are making and we find they respond with commitment and enthusiasm. We encourage volunteers to think for themselves and to gradually take on more responsibility for the animals. The emphasis is placed on quality of learning in an environment that is inclusive and non-judgemental

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To help young people who face disadvantage in their lives to acquire life skills.


    » Agree a schedule of learning and goals to be attained.

    Success will be that volunteers demonstrate basic knowledge and skills in the care of small animals.

    Aim 2

    To help young people gain self-confidence.


    » Work one-to-one, giving encouragement and praising success.

    Success will be that volunteers show positive changes in how they feel about themselves, their confidence levels and future plans.

    Aim 3

    To improve young people's prospects of accessing training and education and gaining employment.


    » Invite feedback from volunteers, referral agencies and project staff in order to monitor achievement.

    Success will be that 30 young people participate in the project each year.

  • Impact


    We want young people to become more confident and successful in their lives. We will measure this by surveys of their views and by asking professionals who work with them about the changes they have seen in the young person. Success of our project can also be shown by the value professionals place on it and this will be measured by monitoring the rate of referrals to the project and participation rates.


    The young people's lives are often chaotic outside the project and this can affect their participation in the project. We address this by pro-active support for the young person concerned to help them stay in the project. Also, we work closely with professionals who refer young people. Lack of referrals is a risk but it is our experience over the past nine years that we have needed to operate a waiting list at times.


    We will provide a report at six monthly intervals on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,778

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,778 Youth project officer Salary, plus NI and pension for p/t 3 days per week
  • Background


    Gorgie City Farm was established 29 years ago by local people; it is a well-loved and flourishing community resource in a low-income built-up area. It consists of animal farm and gardens, pet lodge, play park, education centre and cafe. It provides a welcome green space for recreation and leisure to members of the local community and beyond, suitable for all ages. The farm provides education for young children and a wide range of volunteering opportunities.


    The young people who participate in the project will be the main beneficiaries. The older volunteers who are needed to assist with the care of the animals also benefit. The small animals that the young volunteers help to care for are used in our outreach mobile pets service to care homes and day centres, for the engagement and pleasure of people with dementia.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The project has already demonstrated long term success as it is in its eleventh year. We believe that the project is unique as it is the only youth project of its kind in Scotland that involves the care of small animals.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jim Dendy

    Youth project officer with social work background. Has extensive youth work and animal husbandry experience.

    Nancy Russell

    Youth project assistant with a certificate in animal care. Brings own volunteering and experience as a current student to project.