A Kent community farm has been awarded £3,000 from the CLA Charitable Trust (CLACT) to help connect children and young people with agriculture and nature.
The trust is funded almost entirely by subscriptions and donations from members of the CLA, an organisation which represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses.
It provides grants to charities and community organisations who share its vision to help connect young people who are disabled or disadvantaged with the countryside and nature.
Wye Community Farm is among the groups to successfully apply for funding in the most recent round of awards, receiving £3,000. It works with local schools and special needs settings, providing a range of volunteering and learning opportunities to suit all skill levels, mixing practical tasks with livestock on the farm and learning about farming and food production.
It is currently moving to a new, larger site near Chartham, where it will continue to teach young people from across the Ashford and Canterbury areas the link between their food, sustainable farming and the environment.
Farm manager Richard Boden said: “This grant from the CLA Charitable Trust is most timely, and we’re very grateful for the support.
“Our new site will have a portacabin, and it will be nice to have an indoor space for learning as well as the outdoor activities. We’re also fitting some solar panels which will help children learn about renewable energy, so it’s an exciting time.”
Bridget Biddell, Chairman of CLACT, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the important work of Wye Community Farm.
“To increase young people’s understanding of growing and producing food in a very ‘hands-on’ manner is so important, and particularly for young people where there would be limited opportunity otherwise.
“Having first-hand farm experience can be life-changing.”
Since its foundation in 1980, the trust has given £2m in grants to a wide variety of organisations and projects. If you would like to know more about applying for funding, or to donate, visit https://www.cla.org.uk/about-cla/charitable-trust/