Heather Slater, fundraising and marketing manager at Stonebridge City Farm.

A popular Nottingham inner-city farm at risk of closure has received more than half of the £30,000 it needs to stay open, but has urged people to keep donating.

Stonebridge City Farm launched an urgent appeal for £30,000 on January 7, to avoid having to close the attraction in St Ann’s.

Just over three weeks later, it needs approximately a further £12,000, after receiving donations through JustGiving, text messages and bank transfers.

Heather Slater, fundraising and marketing manager at Stonebridge City Farm, said: “We get a very small amount from the council and that’s reduced over recent years, so that accounts for five per cent of our income.

A goat coming to say hello at Stonebridge City Farm.

“The rest of our income comes from the shop, from education, from grants that I apply for, animal boarding, that sort of thing.”

Heather said it would be “catastrophic” if the farm had to close, but the appeal is going well and they are remaining positive.

Hajnalka Sereg, 34, who regularly visits the farm, said: “It’s very important for the farm to get donations to keep running because it’s so affordable and what they do is really important for the generations to come to see how animals live on farms.”

“There’s no other facility like this locally.”
Heather Slater, fundraising and marketing manager

The farm has 120 volunteers on the site each week, two thirds of which have a learning disability or mental health problem.

According to Heather, they are all welcomed when they first join and become part of their ‘farm family’ which builds their self-confidence.

“They do training in the barn, animal care, health and hygiene in the kitchen, in the gardens here and that really helps them progress,” she said.

Patricia O’Byrne, 61, of St Ann’s, began volunteering at the farm after she came out of hospital. She said: “I took a drug addict in to live with me and she stole everything I had, so I started isolating myself away.

“But I love it here! It’s good. It gets me out the house and it gets me to meet different people and I get to know about the animals. My favourite part about working at the farm is getting to work with the guinea pigs. I love guinea pigs.”

Patricia O’Byrne, a volunteer at the farm with her favourite animal, a guinea pig.

Anne Warburton, 33, of Bestwood, also enjoys volunteering at the farm because she gets to talk to people and socialise.

She works in the cafe on Mondays and spends her Thursdays in the barn looking after the animals.

Anne said: “We need more money for the farm because I need the farm.”

Heather highlighted the value of the farm to the volunteers, and how sad it would be if the farm had to close as “a lot of them have various issues and they’re at home, marginalised and socially isolated, and this gives them somewhere to go”.

Sue Scargill, founder of Rainbow Stripes community project, often holds sessions at the farm where parents and children can go along for an interactive live music session.

She said: “Rainbow Stripes are passionate about supporting Stonebridge for numerous reasons. It is such a fabulous place for families.

“The session we run there has been subsidised by the farm so that we are able to offer the session to everyone. The donations that they receive will mean they can continue their great work.”

The farm is asking for the public’s help by raising awareness and communication to get the word out as far as they can.

A volunteer at the farm feeding the birds.

Heather said that any donations from £2 upwards will all add up and really help.

She said: “We’ve been having donations in from £2 upward and they’re all helping us reach our target.

“Lots of people have already donated and we’re really thankful for all of that money. If they could dig deep, if they have any more small amounts of funds that would be great and also to get the word out to family, friends, colleagues.”

According to Heather the farm is really important for people and young children in Nottingham because it’s free, people can go and use the park, see the animals and feed them makes it unique and a vital part of the inner city community.

“There’s no other facility like this locally,” she added.

Here’s how you can donate to the farm and help them reach their target:

  • Donate via their JustGiving page
  • Send a text to SBCF 70085
  • Make a donation through bank transfer to Stonebridge City Farm, Unity Trust Bank, Account no. 20241218, Sort Code 60-83-01, with the reference as ‘Appeal’