Project information

Social Inclusion through volunteering

Volunteering will enable people to engage with a much loved community resource. The project will promote social inclusion and fostering community development, through opportunities for recreation, learning and volunteering, for all, without discrimination.

April 2018 - March 2021

Charity information: Gorgie City Farm

Gorgie City Farm logo
  • Need


    The farm is located in an area where there are areas of multiple deprivation relating to lack of education, poor housing, and health risks associated with alcohol, drug taking, and mental health issues. Our volunteers experience a wide range of health needs, may be isolated, low in self-esteem and self-confidence, lacking in educational and work achievement and opportunities to make friends.


    For people who are unable to take up paid employment, volunteering provides meaningful activity through maintaining the farm for the benefit of others – volunteers, visitors, and people from the local community. It provides regular exercise, experience of teamwork, and the opportunity to learn new skills. Our aim is to help people build confidence in their abilities and strengths, learn new skills and develop friendships.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve physical health through participation in regular physical activity.


    » Through engaging in supervised and structured physical volunteering sessions.
    » Through growing produce and caring for farm animals volunteers will be assisted to learn about healthy foods and healthy eating.

    What success will look like

    65% of volunteers report being more physically active
    300 volunteers annually participate in active volunteering (average session 3.5 hours)

    Aim 2

    To improve mental health through group physical activity in the outdoors.


    » Through providing regular mixed age and ability group sessions, working as a team.
    » Through providing regular opportunities for achieving meaningful activity that benefits the community.
    » Through providing regular opportunities to meet others and make friends.

    What success will look like

    80% say volunteering on the Farm has made them happier
    65% identify as feeling part of the community

  • Impact


    Improved physical and mental health through outdoor group activity. We will record the number of referrals and note the agencies that support us, and the number of volunteers who attend the groups. We'll have quarterly reviews with the participants, asking them for their thoughts and feelings about attending the group. Annual volunteer surveys will provide outcome information.


    People's lives are often chaotic outside the project and this can affect their participation. We address this by pro-actively supporting volunteers to help them stay in the project and addressing the barriers they may face. We have a social inclusion manager who will work actively with the agencies that refer volunteers. Risk assessments for activities and the handling of animals and implements are carried out on an individual basis by the project leader.


    Donors who agree to email contact will receive regular newsletters updating them on the activities of the Farm. A full annual report of outcomes with case studies will be produced each year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £127,741

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £94,191 Volunteer Support Workers Supporting 300 volunteers
      £29,950 Social Inclusion Manager Working with referral agents to ensure inclusion for all
      £3,600 Volunteer costs Subsistence, travel support and materials

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Big Lottery £50,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    GCF serves the Lothians but we aim primarily to support our local community. Our immediate neighborhoods are all in the 5% most housing deprived in Scotland, according to The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The 2016 locality insight document shows that Sighthill/Gorgie has the highest percentage of city residents reporting poor health, limited daily activity and lack of exercise. Locals have very limited outdoor space, 80% of dwellings in our local area are flats or tenements.


    Our project benefits the volunteers who participate, opportunities are constantly oversubscribed and are allocated specifically to those with highest need. The project will also benefit the wider community. The Farm is a free and accessible space, open all year. The work of the volunteers maintains this a safe location for all people to relax, learn and enjoy. We have around 200 000 visitors each year.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Gorgie City Farm is a well established urban oasis, it has been inspiring users to value people, food, environment, and animals for 40 years. Volunteer Support Workers will be responsible for project delivery, these staff are experienced in animal care, gardening and working with those who have additional needs. We have robust monitoring procedures in place to ensure project activities are tracked, outcomes recorded, lessons learnt, reports submitted and standards maintained/improved.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Volunteer Support Workers

    All volunteers will be assigned a Volunteer Support Worker who will provide support and training

    Social Inclusion Manager

    All volunteers will be initially recruited, interviewed and inducted by our Inclusion staff who will work closely with referral agents.

    Referral Agents

    Close relationships with referral agents means that we are able to meet the requirements of those most in need in the community.


enables a volunteer to enjoy the Farm for 6 months

“Your service is completely unique as it’s flexible, responsive and progressive for the most marginalized of young people and adults in society. Your programme’s activities and support are perfectly aligned with the interests of many people who have absolutely no options for vocational experience."

Referral agent