Lauriston Farm Limited is a newly formed Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS). We run an established biodynamic farm on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex which specialises in rare breed conservation farming for salt marsh birds, insects and plants.
We provide educational farm walks and workshops and offer socially disadvantaged people meaningful life experiences on the farm. We are now offering you the opportunity to become a shareholder in our Society and directly support all this work and more.
As a shareholder, you will be part of a body of warmth and support around our experienced and committed team who have a wide variety of skills including social care, crafts, farming, administration, accountancy, gardening and various experiences of working with adults with learning difficulties.
You will also be part of our new Social Farming Initiative which will integrate adults from the local community who have learning difficulites into the day to day activities of the farm. These include animal care, vegetable growing, crafts using wool from the farm's sheep, cookery and sales and draw from the experience of the Camphill Communities. Initially there will be six places per day available and the therapeutic benefit arises from meaningful work, as sense of belonging to the farm community and the learning of new skills.
There already exists cattle, sheep and honey bees with wheelchair access to meeting rooms, toilets, raised bed garden, poly tunnels, fields and woodland. Your shareholding will build on this infrastructure and directly fund:
- a new hygeine compliant kitchen
- a second hand tractor
- implements for field scale vegetable growing
- a large poly tunnel
- rare breed Berkshire pigs
- rare breedIxworth chickens
- start up wages for the social farming project manager, gardener, cook and craft co-worker
- initial running costs such as insurance, risk assessments and DBS checks
All of this is detailed in our five year business plan which aims to raise £35,000 through community shares and donations. The first target to reach is £20,000 as this will be eligble to receive match loan and grant funding through the Just Growth Programme run by The Real Farming Trust. The second target is then the full £35,000 which ensures the business plan is delivered in full. In addition, we hope to be able to use our total funding to lever further capital funding through the LEADER project.
Each share costs £1 and the minimum shareholding for membership is fifty which equates to £50. You can buy any number of whole shares above this minimum up to a maximum value of £7,500. These shares can be withdrawn but not for the first five years and only then if the Board agrees. No interest will be paid in the first five years and it will only be paid after that if it is not to the detriment of the Society - your return on investment is environmental and social. The shares cannot be sold. We do not access any funds until the share offer is over and we have contacted you with confirmation of our situation.