Funding towards urban farm project in deprived community in East London will help educational programme to flourish.

Stepney City Farm is a working farm, providing environmental education and outdoor learning in Tower Hamlets. The grant of £5000 from the Axis Foundation will purchase desks and chairs for their classroom and replace deteriorated furniture.

Clare Hawkins, Chief Executive at Stepney City Farm, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this support from Axis. The positive impact on lives of green space, ecotherapy, working with nature and animals, gardening and green-care initiatives is well documented: the Farm provides a free and unique facility for these activities for local communities in the heart of one of the most deprived boroughs in the country.

“Our Classroom facilities are key to delivering our environmental programming, providing an indoor learning space used for our curriculum-linked schools programme, young and adult volunteering sessions, bespoke workshops, family events, and our dementia intervention group. The upgrade to the furniture will make the space infinitely more flexible and increase our capacity to deliver sessions and further develop our programming.”

The farm hosts curriculum-linked activities for over 5,000 school children every year. Local children, many of whom rarely get the chance to travel outside of the city, can grow their own food, experience rural arts and crafts and connect with nature.

The urban farm project is based in Tower Hamlets, an inner-city community in London with one of the highest rates of child poverty in the UK. Their educational programmes enable local youngsters, including young offenders and children with special educational needs, to build life skills and confidence and reduce feelings of isolation.

Their Farmer’s Market provides the area with a source of affordable, organic produce. The ‘Furry Tales’ programme provides animal-assisted therapy to those living with dementia. Their volunteer programme brings together 500 participants a year, including those with higher level support needs benefiting from greencare activities, and workers who are keen for an escape from urban life.