But... What Happens When It Rains

by organicARTS in 

We did it
On 28th September 2018 we successfully raised £8,000 with 54 supporters in 32 days

To provide a dry space for creative activities with natural materials for people who need it for their well-being whatever their situation.

by organicARTS in

New stretch target

Any extra money we receive will go towards:

  • a wood burning stove for those really cold days
  • running some workshops to refurnish some comfy chairs
  • running workshops to make wall hangings to make the room more attractive to work in
  • plumbing a sink and waste in to make the space more versatile
  • equipment for creative activities: for printing, paper making etc.

organicARTS: Learning with the Land: Explore Create, Grow. Involves people in creative farm-based learning for a healthy future - your future; the environments future and hence the future of the planet. We are an educational charity based on an organic farm on the outskirts of Exeter and has a reputation for excellent outdoor activities with over 3000 people from many different groups  including young people and families, including those who need additional support; community groups; people with mental health issues; learning difficulties; physical disabilities and people in recovery from substance abuse.  

 ‘I just wanted to say how fantastic the course at organicARTS was they were so knowledgeable, kind and had a great ethos of seeing people as individuals who can contribute and who matter. It was a fantastic experience that will make a really positive impact on my life and my recovery.’

BUT what happens when it rains. We have been given access to the upstairs of a grain barn and would like your support to turn it into a workable space to develop our creative activities using natural materials for anyone who needs it whatever the weather!

What are we trying to achieve?

We have received funding to extend the reach of our ‘Farm Creativity Walks’ to disadvantaged adults.

Walking outdoors does so much to benefit our well-being and they are a daily part of everything that we do

Creativity walks are where people visit different features of the farm and use the materials around them in creative ways. 

Making charcoal from our own willow over an open fire

It is well documented that creative activities and outdoor activities are beneficial to our well-being and it is our belief that using natural materials adds to this. Most of our activities happen outdoors, ‘but what happens when it rains?’ Despite the dry and hot summer we have had sometimes it rains and some activities require equipment which needs to be kept under cover. So we need a basic dry and comfortable space in which to work. The barn would provide this with minimal adaption: a good clear out and clean; making the floor good (it has sound joists and plates); a handrail and new platform on the stairs; a fire escape; hanging ceilings (so the swallow can still use the barn to nest and teach their young to fly!); some electrical sockets and improved lighting, and opening windows.

Imagine doing these activities outdoors in the rain!

Once the space is useable we will be able to offer creative activities to many different groups of people, and build its use into our programme of activities, we know it will be well used as there is a need for an indoor space for people to meet and work in and we are often asked whether we can provide this.

What makes our project great

organicARTS is an established and experienced organisation with well qualified staff which has a site on a working organic farm on the outskirts of Exeter. This enables city dwellers from Exeter (and elsewhere) access to the countryside for the benefit of their health and well-being. Outdoor and creative activities are well documented as being beneficial to our well-being and we are able to combine the two for extra benefit, saving money for the NHS! We will work with any people who need us and don’t focus on a particular needs group. The farm is able to provide a multitude of creative materials and its many features and landscapes offer so much inspiration and we would love to help more people that we currently do. BUT What happens when it rains? We often squeeze under cover getting squashed and damp, so a dry indoor space would make what we do even better!

Sometimes an indoor space is essential, and a space adapted towards our needs would be brilliant and helpful!

Who are we and what’s our experience

organicARTS is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee which has been established and grown since 2004. We have 8 part-time and sessional staff and 5 trustees all of whom carry a wealth of experience with children, vulnerable adults and creative and outdoor activities. Our education and arts team all have teaching qualifications as well as diverse creative practices. Each year we work with over 3000 people during education visits; in our community garden; at open days; guiding walks and providing creative workshops and walks.

Activity as part of a school education visit

How will the money be spent


Our story

organicARTS started in 2004 with nothing apart from the use of the farm and dedicated and determined people (no office, no phone, no computer etc). In the first year we held an art exhibition in the barn and on a trail and conducted 6 education visits. Last year we continued to host a similar exhibition but co-ordinated 150 educational visits, but this is only part of what we do. In 2006 we started a community garden with volunteer guidance and participation and have gradually built this up to about 120 people a year participating on 2 days a week  with 2 paid staff supported by the BIG lottery who recognise the value of what we do for our participants.

'A lot of different people and organisations have tried to help me overcome and live with my problems over the years, but it was working in the Community Garden gradually taking on responsibility for my work here that allowed me to be brave enough to apply for and get a full-time job.'     Community Garden Participant 

One of the problems we had with our garden project was transport, we are quite far from any public transport and most of our participants have no transport of their own. We were very lucky to be given an old minibus by the Guild of Students at the University of Exeter. It gradually wore out and we launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to contribute towards a new minibus.

This has transformed our ability to offer much more variety of work to a wider audience of participants. It is used for many community organisations; workshops with Devon Recovery Learning Community https://devonrlc.co.uk/ who offer free courses as part of their Recovery College; and a wide variety of education groups including schools, nurseries, families, social service and NHS.

Thank you so much for a really wonderful day! I can't fault any aspect of it, and you were GREAT with the kids. They were in quite high spirits that day, many of them, and it was brilliant that you managed them so expertly. The activities were so well planned and thought through, the timing spot on....everything was beyond my expectations, so thanks!!!        Chagford Primary

Our creative work includes the use of materials which can be produced by the farm – clay, wool, willow, wood etc.; linked recycled materials – mosaics, materials etc., and the inspiration of the farm for sketching, writing, painting etc. These activities are included in all the work we do as well as stand alone workshops and our Farm Creativity Walks and it is for this aspect of our work that we are desperate for indoor space!

A mosaic being created on the garden wall using recycled tiles and crockery

We also offer Open Days in conjunction with the farm; Awaydays for companies to help them fulfil their Corporate Social Responsibility and provide team building and celebrations for their staff as well as supporting the work we do with disadvantaged people.

Thank you so much for your interest and support, please help us to achieve the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow by spreading the word to friends, family, colleagues and social media contacts.


We have a myriad of different rewards, many of which will enable you to visit and experience our amazing site on this working organic farm.






You might enjoy an original work from one of the artists who work with organicARTS


Have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a well-loved organisation and the people we work with

However you support us it will include a big THANK YOU from all of us at organicARTS


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

A Big Thank You

A big thank you on our role of honour on our website

£10 or more

A Big Thank You Card

A home made card from and made by organicARTS' participants plus a big thank you on our role of honour on our website

£15 or more

Your name on a brick in the barn

Either you or we will write your name on a brick in the barn when it is ready. Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£15 or more

Mosaic Class

A half day mosaic class on a Thursday morning - all materials provided, no experience neccessary. Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Make Your Own Chutney

A half day workshop in our teaching kitchen learning how to make chutney with seasonal produce Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

7 of 10 claimed

A nature/foraging walk with camp fire cooking

A half day walk on the farm experiencing the nature and foraging the hedgerows with cooking over a camp fire Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

Gin tasting

A choice of 3 double gins with a choice of mixers in our community garden (weather permitting!) Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

Nature Walk and lunch

A weekday nature walk at West Town Farmfollowed by lunch Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

0 of 8 claimed

Have a go Clay Experience

Half day have a go with clay in our workshop with hand building or on the wheel guided by our expert clay workshop leader Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Make a Dream Catcher

A half day workshop using our home grown willow with our resident willow artist making a dream catcher Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Chunky Drawing Charcoal

A bundle of Chunky Drawing Charcoal made from our home grown willow over an open fire. Great for drawing in a big way Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£20 or more

0 of 7 claimed

Limited Edition Print

A limited edition print of West Town Farm by Mandi Street

£25 or more

4 meals at Apple and Pumpkin Day

4 meals at our popular Apple and Pumpkin Day on Sunday 21st October - home made soup and roll; home made cake; choice of tea or coffee Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£25 or more

1 of 16 claimed

Gin tasting plus minibus from Exeter and back

Not only a gin tasting as above, but your very own transport from Central Exeter and back. Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£45 or more

1 of 4 claimed

Your House Number in Mosaics

Your house number made in mosaics by one of our resident artists. It can incorporate your own crockery or colours to suit. Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£50 or more

0 of 3 claimed

A minibus journey to the farm

A minibus journey for up to 16 people from Exeter (you nominate pick up place) and return at 2018 prices Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£50 or more

8 of 11 claimed

A Lucy Rockliffe Raku pot

Choose from a number of beautiful Raku pots made by Lucy Rockliffe (see photos on page for examples) Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£100 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Abstract Painting

An original Peter Grainger abstract painting to be selected from his gallery Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£120 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Drumming Workshop

1.5 hour Drum workshop for up to 15 people a general introduction and drum circle Plus Big Thank You Card and on website

£150 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Birthday Party

A 2 hour birthday party with fireside story telling with the organicARTS resident story teller in the Community Garden for up to 15 children Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Workshop Day

A workshop day for 10 people - a selection of workshops from our resident artists plus lunch, tea and other refreshments throughout the day

£600 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Garden Party

An afternoon garden party for up to 20 people with either a string quartet or a street band; a glass of fizz and a cream tea with endless cups of tea! At a date to be decided between us. Extra people can be added at an agreed cost.

£1,000 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Business Away Day

Business Awayday for 16 people including transport; local food lunch and other refreshments; a variety of individual or group activities or challenges using natural materials + card and name on Roll of Honour

£75 or more

3 of 3 claimed

A mosaic Party for 6

Come and make a mosaic with a group of 5 friends, all materials provided, on a date to suit Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

£120 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Toddlers Birthday Party

A 2 hour Toddlers Birthday Party for up to 20 people (including adults) in our Community Garden with activities. Plus Big Thank You card and roll of honour

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