The Children's Centre update 14th May 2020

A little update

We thought we would give you a little update about what we have all been upto and how we are keeping safe.

 There has been less than a handful of staff based at the farm and this is primarily  to care for the animals as well as doing some long overdue works, like repairs etc., which we don't normally have the time to do.

We have had quite a time with new arrivals, including 8 baby lambs, 18 ducklings and 8 chicks so far. All animals are safe and well. The chillies and other produce are starting to grow in the poly tunnels, so things are ticking over very well on the farm and we cannot wait to get back!

With regards to our families, children and young adults, it has been a challenge but as the weeks have gone on, everyone seems to have settled into a routine.

All face to face contact ceased at the end of March but with the up to date technology we have been able to remain in contact with everyone we support, either by telephone, facetime, skype, zoom and some online gaming. Regular updates continue and each week, we are finding changes in moods and behaviours, which is understandable. We all have positive days and not so positive days, but we are always on hand to offer emotional support.

Some of our families have struggled financially, so we have been offering food vouchers such as Tesco / Shoprite / Co-op and also supporting with Utility bills. This has been possible with a very kind donation from our friends at Knox House Trust, and has been a huge weight of off the shoulders of some of our families and they are so grateful for this.

Some children are struggling too. They want to play with their friends and do not understand fully the whole situation, so we have been creative by providing them with games, quizzes and activities to help pass their time. Simple treasure hunts where the whole family in the household can get involved.

Some of the teenage children have been having virtual games with 2 of our outdoor activity practitioners, which has been very well received and of what we have heard, very competitive. One group are trying to make a Mindcraft version of the farm, so we can't wait to see this.

All in all, things are going well with those we support. Support has been different to that what we would normally provide, but times like these we have had to adapt to the needs of our clients.

As you may be aware, we have had to postpone quite a few of our events and this will of course have an impact on income, but we are hopeful that we can get back on track with some of them in a few months' time or when we have been given the go ahead by the relevant government departments.

We have had some fun with the 2.6 challenge which has been very well received. As of today we have raised almost £900 which is great and very much welcomed.

Some of the team are now working on a new campaign to sit alongside the International Children's Day, which is on June 1st, so please follow us and get involved if you can.  We are doing what we can given the situation and social media is a very useful tool at the moment, given that we cannot visit our supporters or corporates.

Joff is having regular meetings with government departments and external partners to discuss ways that we can work together going forward and we look forward to hearing the outcome from those discussions and making them a reality.

We are all still in unknown territory and not knowing how long for, but we are positive about the future. We will have outstanding facilities at the farm when we re-open and will be able to offer all the services we had in the past plus more. We have told all of our clients that we are here to support them during this pandemic and the feedback we are receiving is that this is very much welcomed.

We hope this gives you a little bit background of where we are, and we cannot wait to open our farm gates again when it's safe to do so.

Please remember, you are not alone and should you want to speak to one of the team, please call us on 800 000.

Take care and stay safe.

From all at The Childrens Centre

How can you help?

There are many ways you can support our work.

  • £3,000 per day to run our charitable programmes
  • £7 benefit for every £1 spent on Thriving families programme
  • 40% of local children and young people engaged in our services
  • 16 groups of all ages hosted at the Farm each week