A cat may look at a king… (October 2020)
…and if that is true, than a REX rabbit can most definitely look at a Prince.
Which is exactly what I did this month!
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited Vauxhall City Farm on the 1st October 2020 to see the farm’s community engagement programmes in action, joining staff, volunteers, local residents, and schoolchildren as the farm marked the start of Black History Month.
The Royal couple were greeted by Vauxhall City Farm CEO Monica Tyler, Lambeth Mayor Philip Normal, Member of Parliament for Vauxhall Florence Eshalomi, and Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London Colleen Harris.
They were given a tour of the farm by Trustee Alison Ewen, meeting staff, volunteers, and animals; and welcomed by Chair of Trustees, Faith Boardman via video link.
Though believe me, the rest of the farm has not been idle, either. We have teamed up with, well, TeamUp, to provide a free After School Club for children aged 8 – 12, which started at the beginning of this month on the farm.
Priority given to Lambeth residents, eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
We will also be running a holiday club for children aged 7 – 12, during October Half Term, 26th – 30th October. It will allow children to get involved in many aspects of the farm and take part in some spoooooky activities based around the year’s most frightening holiday.
For the slightly older young people, I would like to highlight Careers in Racing’s new Step on Track Programme starting this month; a one-week development programme for 16 -19 year olds. Aimed at those from an ethnic background to allow them to explore the vast amount of opportunities and exciting career routes the sport of horseracing has to offer.
“In the sports sector only 5% of Board members and 3% of senior leaders are black, Asian, or minority ethnic. This is also the case in some parts of British racing. The BHA is committed to taking positive action to address this.”
“The Step on Track Programme is a development opportunity put in place to encourage and develop people from underrepresented groups in our sport.”
Friends, together, we have fundraised an astounding £300,000. We weren’t sure we’d reach this milestone in our mission to save the Farm, and ensure it survives this year, and the uncertain times ahead.
Everyone’s support has been vital, and we hope you will take a moment, to visit our fundraising page, where we have tried to acknowledge all the very special people who helped us get here in our latest update.
Thanks also have to go to the Berkley Group, St James Vauxhall team, for helping out in our community garden, with weeding, turning soil, planting, and harvesting produce!
And lastly to Lambeth Council, for providing funding for, and highlighting the importance of local green spaces, during Lambeth Clean Air Week. Check out their video about Vauxhall City Farm bringing the community together & reducing carbon emissions.
With the last videos going live at the end of this month, I would like to once again draw your attention to Vauxhall City Farm TV.
Of course, if you ask me, the video about the rabbits is the best one in the entire collection, but from an objective view point, there is a vast range of brilliant educational content, that aims to connect children and young people with the farm, in these difficult times, when visiting the farm may not be as easy or as straight forward as it used to be.
Before we part ways, we’d like to dedicate this update to the late Liz Dendy OBE, who passed at the end of August.
Liz dedicated her life to supporting positive opportunities for young people with disabilities. It was Liz, through her trusteeship, that brought Riding for the Disabled Association lessons and certification to the Farm’s riding school. For this, alongside her passion, strength, and kindness, we can’t ever thank her enough for the impact she had here at Vauxhall City Farm.
Our thoughts and condolences remain with Liz’s loved ones at this time.
I must bid you adieu now, and attend to my lapine affairs.
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Vauxhall City Farm and Café are open to the public Tuesday – Sunday, 10.30am – 3.30pm, booking is not required, and visiting is a fantastic way to support us!