WHAT THE FARM IS DOING
As part of the UK’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, the Farm is now closed to the public. Our staff and volunteer team have to prioritise the day to day care of the animals and gardens, their own and the community’s protection from Covid-19.
Staff are currently split into two teams. Team A is dedicated to looking after the animals onsite and Team B are working really hard from home, developing plans to:
1) ensure the long-term sustainability of the Farm
2) support our community members while confined to “staying indoors”,
Some of our plans are listed below. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for what else the Farm could do that would help us all in these difficult times.
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Kentish Town City Farm will:
A. Support vulnerable members of our community
B. Take an innovative approach to implement ways that visitors and service users can still continue to benefit from farm life
C. Participate in a joint communications and fundraising campaign with City Farms and Community Gardens throughout London to ensure the sustainability of our movement
Our magical farm space is used by many to lessen isolation, and improve mental health and physical well being – aspects of life that local people will need more than ever when we are once again able to open our gates. We can only hope that this crisis will strengthen communities and lead to a greater appreciation of nature, animals and the great outdoors.
Our thanks to Camden Council, funders and third sector organisations for their ongoing support through these challenging times.
Our thoughts are with anyone who is, or whose loved ones are ill, or experiencing symptoms.
Please keep in touch – email, call or contact via social media
t: 0207 916 5421
Kentish Town City Farm
Sunday 27 October
Over 900 visitors and £2800 raised for the farm
Our traditional annual Apple Day at KTCF was a great success. After a week of constant rain, the sun came out and encouraged regular visitors as well as first timers to come and have fun in a seasonal celebration of everything to do with Apples and Pears. More than 900 visitors came through the gate, 350 children and 550 adults all ready to enjoy themselves.
The Big Apple stall run by American School in London volunteers
We had a fabulous selection of Apples and Pears to taste and admire, a huge range donated once again by National Fruit Show, huge thanks to them and to Transition Town Kentish Town for joining us and endlessly juicing apples for people to taste and enjoy. Over two thousand varieties of apples are grown in Britain who knew about Queen Cox? or Rubens? Galaxy Gala or Royal Beauty? Visitors could taste and even take fruit home, but we didn’t have all two thousand varieties.
Lots of Appley things to do and enjoy – apple bobbing and the longest apple peel as well as Egg & Spoon races, Arts and Craft stalls and the ever-popular face painting.
It wouldn’t be a KTCF event without a chance to cuddle a guinea pig, groom a goat, stroke and hold a chicken or have a donkey ride. Even the animals were intrigued to be introduced to each other. The geese supervised activities in the yard but Wilma and Betty the pigs must have exhausted themselves with all the socialising and needed to take an afternoon nap.
To keep everyone happy we had music in the yard all afternoon from Little Venice, a BBQ and of course toffee apples, chocolate apples, apple and many other cakes and cups of tea.
None of this would be possible without our valiant team of 86 volunteers, staff, young farmers and trustees. Special thanks to regulars The American School in London for providing so many volunteers on the day and to Steve and the community service boys, Goodgym and many others, a huge thank you to all of them for joining in and helping Apple Day happen. In total we made £2800 for the Farm which adds to the success of the day.
Next event: Christmas Fayre Sunday 8th December
Kentish Town City Farm staff and trustees took the opportunity of Apple Day on Sunday 27 October to thank the local community and visitors for their support during the recent campaign for the future of the Farm.
“An enormous thank you to each and every one of you who supported the staff and friends in the recent HOOF – Hands Off Our Farm – campaign to save Kentish Town City Farm.”
We were campaigning to save all the services, staff jobs and the future direction of the Farm. So many of you came and talked about your concerns, supported the staff, shared our fury and told us again and again how much you loved the Farm and how much it meant to you – THANK YOU.
Your support meant so much to us in the struggle to restore the management of KTCF to the hands of local people who share our values. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Camden New Journal and especially Tom Foot for following, reporting and supporting the campaign and spreading the word.
We’ve been busy since July – a new board of Trustees is now in place, mostly people who live locally, several of whom have been involved with KTCF for many years and together have a wide range of experience to bring to the Farm.
We achieved a harmonious hand over from old to new trustees. The Farm needed stability and to have in place a team who could cement relationships with current funders and quickly start to generate new income. Our first task was to appoint a new Director. The Board of Trustees took advice that an open recruitment for a new Director was the ideal but that a business case for recruiting Rachel Schwartz, former Director and Chair of the Farm with an abundance of other proven qualifications could be argued in the name of continuity and stability. Those consulted were Geoffrey Hand a respected advisor on issues of governance to charities; Kevin Nunan from Voluntary Action Camden and Lisa Charalambous from Community Services, Camden Council. We were also informally advised that Camden Council would be pleased and reassured if Ms Schwartz were appointed such is her standing with them.
The job description was refined by the KTCF Board to include measures of competency. Rachel Schwartz was appointed after a rigorous process of interview which observed due diligence as required by the Charities Commission. The interview was conducted by a panel of three, her future Line Manager (Chair) and two other trustees with experience of recruitment and interview. The role offered has a six-month probationary period with assessment and monitoring against an agreed three-month plan for the Farm. This process was agreed and minuted at a Trustee Meeting on the 6th of August 2019 and Rachel was appointed and started work at the start of September.
The Board of Trustees is satisfied that proper protocol has been followed and trust the Farm has a bright and solid future under the stewardship of Ms Schwartz. Many of you will know Rachel from her involvement with KTCF.
We are working together to catch up, stabilise and plan for the future of KTCF.
We will be holding discussions with the local community and Farm users about the future.
Please keep visiting and supporting the Farm – we are here for everyone.
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