Cotgrave Candleby Lane school is planning to reinstate its school farm and says it intends to make it a resource centre for pupils and the local community.
Caroline Armstrong is Head Teacher at the school and said, “Working with and learning about animals and their care is such a valuable opportunity for children. It would create a fantastic place to learn about wildlife and the environment, promoting empathy and self-confidence and would be an amazing resource to add value to children’s school experience.
“We would also like the community to be able to use and access the facilities eventually and have already received support for the idea.”
Caroline says that a parent at the school is driving the efforts to reinstate the farm. “To have Rebecca driving the fundraising is amazing. She is definitely the person to get the job done and it’s wonderful to have her supporting the school in such a way. Our school community and families are rallying to help the effort and thinking of wonderful ways to raise money, -they never let us down!”
Mrs Rebecca Bradley is a parent with two children currently attending the school and has set herself the challenge of raising the money, and community support to get the project off the ground. She said the original farm dwindled in size losing animals to old age and with others, like the guinea pigs, being rehomed since the beginning of the pandemic. The farm still has a family of ducks.
She said, “Our aim is to reinstate a farm with improved facilities for the animals, and with visitor friendly areas for children’s learning, as well as more community use and rentable space.”
To do this, Rebecca, who attended Brackenhurst College to do Equine Science as a student, has started a JustGiving fundraising page for donations and is planning future fundraising efforts to raise the £25000 needed for the project. She said, “We are grateful to take donations of any size to get the project started, no matter how small, and every contribution will help towards making the plans a reality. In addition to the JustGiving page we might also use collection buckets for spare change as well as fundraising events.”
Rebecca said that some good ideas are coming in from the school community, and with offers of help to complete works too. “The school and wider community have started to step up to the challenge, offering physical help too. We have had a tree surgeon and a bricklayer offer help; a school playground designer has offered to help with the design as well as a school furniture company who has offered furniture for the function room we have planned.
“We have had some great offers of help to fundraise too, with some ideas coming from families at the school and so far the support has been heart-warming to see. We are so grateful!”
Rebecca says that the dream is achievable. “I would like children to have experience sessions where they can learn how to look after animals, including pets. Also, providing access to families who might not have their own animals to be able to enjoy the company and joy animals can bring.
“This farm will provide a wonderful space to interact and care for animals and they give so much back in return. Animals are amazing at promoting wellbeing in people and it would be lovely to be able to share this with everyone.”
The JustGiving page for anyone wishing to support to the effort is: https://gofund.me/b3bd845e