Growing plants, animals, but most of all, people

by Jenny Urwin in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Growing plants, animals, but most of all, people

Total raised £3,100

 
Gift Aid
+ est. £25.00
£10,000 target 16 days left
31% 52 supporters
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 1st July 2024 at 10:54am

We aim to educate and inspire children and young people from deprived areas to connect with nature, animals, sustainable farming and growing

by Jenny Urwin in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Ouseburn Farm is a place for growing - plants, animals, but most of all, people.

A working care farm, we support adults with additional needs, alongside the wider community in a mixed, inclusive setting. We also provide much-needed community and green space next to two of the country’s most socially and economically deprived neighbourhoods. Children and families from these areas and the wider city come to the farm regularly to experience farm life, learn where food comes from and enjoy the sense of awe and wellbeing that comes from engaging with nature.

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Our mantra

This is a place for growing.

Plants, fruit and veg, animals, but most of all, people.

We cultivate joy here. And learning.

We nurture self-confidence and a sense of belonging.

You’ll feel it as soon as you walk through our door.

Lives are being enriched. Needs are being nourished.

It couldn’t happen without our volunteers. Or your donations.

We’re a charity. Run for people, not for profits.

A community-spirited place where everyone is welcome. And valued.

This is a happy place.

A wholesome place. A human place.

Our Crowdfunder Project

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Over the next year we’ll deliver 50 events for children and young people from the local area, aiming to educate and inspire them to connect with nature, animals and sustainable farming and growing. 

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Funding from BA Better World Community Fund will allow Ouseburn Farm to provide free learning experiences to our young neighbours in Byker and Walker. With your help, we can provide 400 free tickets to these special events, allowing young people to learn about farming in Farmers Club, get close up to our animals in our Animal Drawing workshops, and try ingredients grown in our garden in our Cooking Classes.

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“If you’re struggling financially and you’ve got three or four kids, any admission fee would be a major block” - Ouseburn Farm Visitor.

During a cost of living crisis, finding safe and enriching activities for children outside of school time is a huge challenge. Entry to our farm always has been and always will be free, so that anyone can visit and access nature and learning, no matter what their background is and how much or how little money they have.

We want to go one step further, and provide tailored learning experiences for families from poorer areas by giving them free access to events where they can learn about food, animals, and the outdoors.

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How will they benefit?

This project will address two main areas: Countering the loss of key skills by providing creative learning experiences.

Providing activities which create opportunities for learning and engagement is essential and recognised by Newcastle City Council's successful “best summer ever” schemes. Now more than ever, with local families facing huge cost of living challenges, being able to offer a range of activities both in the holidays and during weekends is a great way to counter learning loss and provide an alternative learning environment.

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Through food education, the farm is able to address children’s understanding of where food comes from, how it is produced, and the effort involved, in a tangible and immediately understandable way that is missing from more traditional cookery and food sessions. 

Who will benefit? 

This programme will provide free spaces for 400 young people to events that would otherwise need to be paid for. 

Families that are experiencing deprivation will use their postcode as a discount code on our ticketing platform to gain free entry. This method of allocating tickets will make sure that children from all backgrounds will mix in the same session, and will remove any social stigma that could be present if we advertised specific events as being free.

The majority of farm visitors bring children (78.4%), with children aged 3-5 making up 38.2% of all child visitors. Another resident said: “There’s not many things you can do for free nowadays. This also gives a sense of ownership… this belongs to the community and I think that’s important”. 

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“Having this resource in the city is essential for people that rely on public transport or have little or no disposable income to go to bigger attractions in the north east. The farm is always welcoming and there is a high emphasis on welfare which is really positive.”

Because the farm is free, local families tend to visit regularly, with 59.8% of surveyed visitors having visited on multiple occasions. 

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Our most recent survey (2022) found that visitors are local – 84% live within 10 miles of the farm. Most are working age, and 46% have a household income under £26,400. 

Our visitors identified the following benefits to visiting the farm: 

  • The farm helps to connect children to their environment (93%)
  • The farm allows families to spend quality time together (92%)
  • The farm provides opportunities to get outdoors and exercise (89%)
  • The farm improves children's health and wellbeing (85%)
  • The farm gives children creative learning experiences (85%)
  • The farm helps children keep learning during school holidays (80%)
  • The farm helps to connect children to their community (77%)

Many young visitors who have learning disabilities also end up becoming Placements with us. Placements have the opportunity to work with in various areas of the farm, including livestock, horticulture, catering and cooking, arts and crafts, photography and creative arts. 

Thank you for considering supporting Ouseburn Farm and families in the north-east! 

Select a reward

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£39 or more

Sponsor a small animal

Sponsor a small animal at Ouseburn Farm. We have Rabbit / Guinea Pig / Rat / Chicken / Duck/ Gecko / Tortoise / Snake / Chinchilla / Degu / Bearded Dragon / Parrot / Land Snail / Hamster / Stick Insects / Cockatiels / Budgies. The funds raised by animal sponsors help to keep all our animals fed, warm and well throughout the year and our gates open to everyone in our community.

£56 or more

Sponsor a goat

Sponsor one of our lovely Pygmy goats: Jerome, Robbie or Sonny, made famous by TikTok (!), for a year. This generous donation will go towards ensuring they are well looked after year-round. https://www.tiktok.com/@rebbeebee18/video/7324402804720799009?

£100 or more

10 free spaces on family workshops

This will pay for 10 free spaces, travel costs and materials to allow families from deprived areas in Newcastle access to some of our workshops. Children and young people will have enriching opportunities to learn about nature, animals, sustainable farming and healthy eating choices whilst in the inspiring green oasis of the farm.


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