St Werburghs City Farm, a local registered charity, has been placed at risk due to rising costs and loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of this, a Crowdfunder campaign is being launched next week to help raise £30,000 to save it.
St Werburghs City Farm is located in central Bristol and is a much-loved place for people to explore, meet up and relax. The small-scale urban farm, which is home to a number of animals and boasts gardens and home-grown food, also offers a range of services vital to the community.
These include supported placements for adults with learning disabilities, volunteer opportunities for people experiencing mental ill-health, outdoor education and play activities for local children and young people – all of which enable people to re-connect, learn and grow. And all of this has now been placed at risk because of rising costs, increasing need within the community and loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021/2022 alone, the farm has welcomed 60,000 visitors (predominantly families and children) to the site, as well as 1,136 project participants. These included adults with learning disabilities, adults experiencing mental health issues or who identify as being lonely, and local children and young people.
Those who have made use of the farm’s services have said: “I’ve learned good skills, and it improved my mood a lot every week. I’ve been having an especially bad time with my mental health recently, but having this every Monday has been really helpful, giving me something to look forward to and starting off the week well.”
A second said: “I feel listened to, supported and understood. It helps me to feel productive, gives me an interest in others and can help me a bit with confidence.”
Funds from the Crowdfunder campaign, which launches on September 26, will be put towards staffing, covering overheads and project costs to ensure that the farm can offer the following services:
- Volunteer opportunities for adults facing disadvantage to spend time in nature and get involved in the care and maintenance of the farm’s sites, while learning new skills – these sessions help to combat social isolation, increase confidence and support wellbeing
- Supported farming placements for adults with learning disabilities to spend time caring for the farm animals and growing vegetables in the community garden
- After school youth club, Forrest School City Farmers Club and half-term camps for local children and young people to explore, play, make friends and learn together.
Further comments from those who have made the most of such services in the past including this one, which reads: “Coming to the farm rejuvenates my energy and makes me feel more energetic and excited about life. It has given me confidence in my ability to do practical tasks which I completely lacked before doing this, which has expanded my confidence in the other areas of my life too.”
You’ll be able to share the campaign and donate when the Crowdfunder page goes live on September 26 – just copy and paste this URL into your browser: https://crowdfunder.co.uk/p/swcityfarm