Surrey Docks Farm in Rotherhithe is quacking with delight after joining the Jack Petchey Bronze Achievement Award scheme, which means three young people a year can receive the prestigious award. Funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation allows their youth club to continue supporting and educating the 80 young people that regularly visit.
The working city farm overlooks Canary Wharf, highlighting its very central location. It occupies an ample 2.2 acres of land with space for varies animals – from cows to ferrets. The farm collaborates with local schools and communities in Southwark to inform young people about farming and animal care.
Surrey Docks works closely with volunteers not in education, employment or training (NEET) – many of whom also have learning difficulties. Volunteers can develop their skills and get hands-on experience with animals. Each day lasts from 9am-4.30pm, giving a very real insight into the working world.
The Green Fingers Club runs weekly and, as the name suggests, focuses on gardening. The farm also offers Bushcraft Activities which include den building and cooking. In addition to these outdoor activities, the farm also teaches young people about the administrative aspects of running a farm - such as applying for grants.
The JP co-ordinator Gemma Hooper has already had two years of experience with the Achievement Award scheme at Deen City Farm. She says ‘there’s a huge mix of people at Surrey Docks but it still works and everyone gets along. We try to be inclusive as possible so have a huge mix of things going on.’
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