Funding ensures children connect to the land

Thursday May 09, 2024

Country Trust is the leading educational charity connecting children from areas of high social and economic disadvantage with the land that sustains us all. Our Community Fund ensured school visits to farms could continue this year.

The charity provides a programme of learning for primary school aged children, teaching them where our food comes from and how it is made, with practical outdoor education which includes a farm visit and hands-on experience. So far, over 540 sessions of their Food Discovery programme have been held. Fundraising Manager, Victoria Cable, said;

 

“Over 40% of children now don’t know that most of the food we rely on comes from the soil. Many only have experience of ultra-processed food and believe it is made in a packet, and the cost of living crisis is exacerbating child health inequality.”

She added, “Our Food Discovery programme allows the development of practical skills, such as grinding grain and baking breads themselves, and provides a foundation for children to make informed decisions in their future lives about their own health and that of the planet.”

 

The programme covers many aspects of the curriculum and the farm visits are referred back to across the school year. It allows parents and carers to get more involved through family sessions, children are able to take home meals they have prepared themselves, and provides opportunities to buy fresh produce at an affordable price through playground markets, which gives the children additional experiences. An overwhelming percentage report back that they take part in more cooking and gardening at home during and after the programme.

Though there are many volunteers involved in the process, the funding will be used to pay for coach visits, meaning even the most struggling families could benefit as there are no costs to them or the school for their child to attend the farm visit. We were lucky enough to witness a class lesson in action, and saw every pupil was interested and engaged. The teacher that accompanied them said;

“The whole project has been extremely inclusive, regardless of language, ability or learning needs. EVERY child has taken something positive from this, and will continue to do so for months to come.”

One child said; “Plants are a bit like humans and need almost the same things to grow. I’m excited to watch my plants grow.”

For more information on Country Trust, visit here. For more information on our Community Fund, visit here.