A year ago, Stonebridge City Farm was on the brink of closure but after a public appeal for donations, the farm is back to providing a valuable nature experience to Nottingham’s residents.
Peter Armitage, general manager at Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham launched a public appeal asking for £30,000 in funds to help keep the farm open, stating that the farm was “on the brink of closure.”
One year on, the farm is still up and running after the charity received a staggering £126,000 in donations – more than four times the amount they were asking for.
“More importantly, this shows that people want us to stay open”, said Peter Armitage.
The farm aims to do three things: give inner-city kids access to a natural environment, it serves as an education centre hosting school trips and it is a support and training centre.
“The latter is significantly important, as two thirds of our workers and volunteers have a disability or mental health challenge – working gives them a sense of independence and self worth”, said Peter.
Stonebridge continues to face challenges with funding as less than 5% comes from the council, and according to Peter: “This number has decreased substantially in the past four or five years.”
The farm, which costs about £1000 to run per day, welcomes an average of 40,000 visitors per year and relies almost completely on donations to function.
However, the farm struggles heavily during the winter months as visitor rates drop.
“Our donation earnings yesterday were £4.30 in total”, said Peter.
Its not just Stonebridge that has been feeling the pressure recently, according to Lloyd’s Charity Trust, two thirds of charities fear for their future.
“Charities go bust all the time – we had to find a way to keep going”, Peter added.
When looking to the future, Peter said: “I don’t think charities will ever be economically sufficient, but we will continue to look for donations and do all we can to provide a service for our community. But, if you want us you have to help us by donating.”
If you would like to donate to Stonebridge City Farm then follow this link: http://www.stonebridgecityfarm.com/donate/