The project is to renovate the farm's classroom and surrounding space and bring an exciting programme of activity to the farm for 2020. It will provide opportunities for local children and families to take part in farm based activities during the school holidays and improve the farm's learning spaces for schools and groups visiting the farm.
Our classroom is a multifunctional space which is the heart of our education and children's programmes. Heavy use over the last 20 years (last time the space had a major refurb) as well as the hazards of being part of a barn (muck and the occasional small furry gnawing guest) mean it is well over due for gutting and completely refitting. We want to make it a space suitable for the diverse community who use the farm. To provide a base where people especially young children and those who are more vulnerable to the outdoor conditions can enjoy learning and spending time together in a unique setting for our extremely urban area of London.
What we'll deliver:
- Newly fitted classroom for school classes, therapeutic and activity sessions, workshops, and community hire.
- Free drop in activity sessions for families over the school holidays in 2020
- Updated solar electricity generation system and associated educational display
Why it's a great idea:
The project will benefit the local community for many years to come supporting the farm to deliver key outcomes providing around 2500 school children a year with guided outdoor learning sessions, a space for family learning and therapeutic sessions and volunteer team days whilst helping the farm generate an income to support its maintenance as a free open access site from community room hire.
In our recent impact evaluation free activities for children were highlighted as very important for local families and one of the most frequent suggestions for improvement was the provision of more activities. Many people also suggested that improvements to the classroom facilities would enable more use by everyone.
This evaluation also demonstrated the role of the farm in bringing people together and creating meaningful contacts. The classroom is key to this. Providing a hub for community activities which facilitates families with young children, older and vulnerable people to be involved.
Steps to get it done:
- Gut classroom and loft area June 2020
- Work with stakeholders to design space July 2020
- Contractors install upgraded solar generation equipment July 2020
- Contractors carry out repairs / renovation of classroom July / August 2020
- Install fixtures and fittings July - October 2020
- Prepare and publicise calendar of activities June 2020 - December 2021
- Open new classroom for the community August 2020
- Run Summer Children's Activities Programme July /August 2020
- Run October Half Term Children's Activity Programme October 2020
- Project celebration event December 2020
Find out more about the farm's role in our community from our 2017 impact evaluation carried out by rocket science. https://goo.gl/fMSjcA