Farms for City Children, A Week of Muck and Magic!
We aim to widen children’s life experiences so they learn hands-on where their food comes from by growing produce, helping to care for our farm animals and the land, and the value of working as a team. Children discover an active enjoyment in life and a sense of purpose and achievement.
September 2015 - August 2016
Farms for City Children
It is hard to believe that there are children who have never walked down a country lane, looked up at an unpolluted sky full of stars. They collect eggs, feed pigs, milk goats, keep bees & groom horses or donkeys! The amazement on a child’s face is something to behold.
One child staying with us from a London school recently said they had “NEVER had a barbeque before” and that it was “amazing.” It sounds strange but living in a high-rise not surprising.
Farms for City Children has led the way in recognising the tremendous value of the outdoor way of life combining plenty of fresh air with exciting, educational experiences which enrich the national curriculum. The hands-on and purposeful nature of the tasks ensures that the children all pull together to work as a team learning so much more than is possible in the confines of a ‘normal’ classroom. The children can run free in open fields and actually play without the distractions of TV & internet
We aim to raise around £500,000 each year to subsidise all 3,000 children booked to stay.
Activities» As we receive NO government funding, every penny needed to subsidise the children has to be fundraised which is quite a task! Determination is all!
Weekly feedback received from the farms is always the highlight of our office week! The things the children and accompanying adults tell us are really moving & sometimes very funny
Our three farms are all Grade II listed properties which are very expensive to maintain.
Activities» Each year we carefully budget & fundraise for the expensive upkeep & improvements constantly needed to each of our buildings and farms.
The properties will be restored to their former glory and will be easier toi maintain once all improvements are implemented.
The weeks the children enjoy on our farms make lifelong memories. We get regular feedback from 'children' who stayed with us in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's who are now grown up and say it was one of the best experiences of their lives!
The risks to the project are few but the main risk would be biological ones like when in the past when we weathered Foot & Mouth Disease which temporarily closed the farms down for a period of time. This can be overcome however as the children's breaks can always be re-scheduled.
We send thank you letters to those who support out project and then a twice yearly newsletter with updates. In January we send our Annual Report and Accounts to donors who have given over £1,000.
Other reports are sent as and when requested.
Budget - Project Cost: £700,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £500,000 Child Subsidies £175 per child x 3,000 annually £200,000 Farm Upgrades Maintenance and Improvement works to our three listed farms
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Trusts & Foundations £68,000 Guaranteed
We currently have three working farms. Nethercott in Devon is an 1870's gentleman's residence and traditional mixed dairy, beef and sheep farm. Treginnis in Pembrokeshire is a traditional sheep farm with a milking goat herd set on a headland above the sea and Wick Court in Gloucestershire is a stunning moated manor house on a bend of the River Severn which is a small traditional rare breeds.
Around 3,000 children from England and Wales will stay each year.
Last year, and indeed in previous years on the farms, we had several children with severe autism stay with us, children with other special educational needs and also some children with physical disabilities. These children all come along fully integrated with their other classmates and this was found to be very successful.
As far as we are aware we are the only charity who offers a full seven day residential on a real working farm. Each year we are full to capacity and have some booking two years in advance on the farms.
We have successfully been operating now for 39 years and are very much looking forward to our 40th Anniversary next year!
Read more about the Charity running this project.
I cannot pick a specific person because we are an amazing team! Each of us plays a part in the children's stay, CEO, fundraisers & farm staff.
“One child struggles physically but really got stuck in & enjoyed praise.” “A young carer has had a ‘week off’ and has had a ball!”