At the beginning of March, Ouseburn Farm sent out a rallying cry to the North East to support its fundraising campaign to help keep its doors open for at least another year.
The farm launched a Crowdfunding campaign called ‘Support Ouseburn Farm, Support Your Community’ in a bid to raise the £20,000 needed to bridge its annual funding deficit.
The campaign was backed by people and businesses from all over the country including celebrities Dame Barbara Windsor DBE and Michelin chef Michel Roux Jr.
The farm raised a total of £21,440 from 830 supporters, which means it can continue to support vulnerable and disadvantaged adults and children who rely on the farm as a place of refuge and a place to gain the vital skills they so desperately need.
In return for donations, people could claim set rewards such as feeding the animals, accessing a behind the scenes tour, having dinner at the farm and holding children’s parties. Social media communications and the Ouseburn Farm tote bags proved to be the most popular rewards.
Andrea Haynes, Head of Ouseburn Farm, said: “We’re delighted with the response and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who got behind the campaign to help us reach our target. It means so much to the staff, volunteers, our customers and visitors that use the farm on a daily basis.
“The campaign has touched the hearts of many people and we now know that our future in the short-term has been secured. We are already planning how we can bridge our funding deficit in years two and three and hope that local people and businesses will continue to support our charity.
“In addition to the money raised, we have received a lot of support in kind, which will also benefit the farm in the long term. The farm remains an integral part of the city and we look forward to continuing to support vulnerable and disadvantaged adults and children by helping them to learn and grow in confidence.”
Located in the Lower Ouseburn Valley, Ouseburn Farm is open 363 days and attracts over 50,000 visitors a year. In addition to the array of animals, gardens, orchard and onsite café serving coffee and fresh food which has been produced directly from the farm, it also offers educational classrooms and workshops for vulnerable adults or adults who may be chronically excluded.
Woodwork, carpentry, upcycling, catering, creative arts, livestock and horticulture workshops provide an educational route or work experience to vulnerable adults teaching them essential skills and provides placements for the homeless and adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems.
As a registered charity, you can still make a donation to the farm through Local Giving at https://localgiving.org/