SUSAN'S FARM CIC: FOOD AND FARMING LEARNING CENTRE
Susan Aglionby has been farming in Houghton near Carlisle for 25 years. She is passionate about the production of organic, sustainable and delicious meat from traditional breeds. She is also committed to sharing this passion with young people, adults and community groups and over the last ten years she has grown the educational and care farming elements setting up Susan’s Farm CIC - a not-for-profit Community Interest Company offering on-farm visits and learning for all.
The organisation works with a wide range of users from primary school children to teenagers and adults with challenging needs. This improves learning outcomes for under-performing pupils, teaches life skills to those instiutionalised for many years and the elderly with dementia, overall connecting people with their food and countryside. In 2016 there were over 300 school and community visits to the farm and in addition 2-4 care farming groups each week.
Solway, Border and Eden LEADER Programme has supported this inspirational organisation with a grant to create a permanent Food and Farming Learning & Community centre to develop the established education and care farming activities including a kitchen to allow visitors to prepare meals. The centre will also act as a community hub for village events.
With the security of a permanent base Susan’s Farm CIC will be able to create over 2 full time permanent positions which will be a key aspect in supporting further growth and development of its services.
Susan Aglionby says: "It will greatly enhance our 'Field to Fork' education work for the wide variety of vulnerable adults and school children who visit. We are particularly excited about our specially designed and purpose-built kitchen, suitable for those with disabilities or very young children.
This grant will help us achieve long-term sustainability, securing jobs and moving the farm office to a new office and off my kitchen table!"