The Ouseburn Farm you Know and Love

by Stef Anderson in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 24th December 2020 we successfully raised £9,699 ( + est. £1413.25 Gift Aid ) with 179 supporters in 35 days

The world has changed this year and we have had to change with it. This Christmas, please help us get back to the farm you know and love.

by Stef Anderson in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

With extra funding we can restore even more of the things that make Ouseburn Farm special - more ways for you and your family or bubble to interact with and learn about our animals and plants, more opportunities for volunteers to support our work and help us grow, an even richer learning programme for our trainees (adults with learning disabilities who train at the farm).


This summer, we took drastic action to protect the farm's future. The first lockdown wiped a third off our income for the year and we had to cut costs, and lose staff, in order to survive. 

This second lockdown has been a further blow. We will get through it but need help from you, our community, to get back to being the vibrant community farm you know and love.

The virus has taken a lot from us all this year. Let's make next year count. Let's make joy contagious. 

Please donate to our appeal this Christmas or buy a gift - and invest in happy farm memories for your children, your family and our community next year and beyond.

Our Covid Story

A lifetime ago in March, we were getting ready for our favourite time of the year. Spring. Our ewes had started early, surprising us with lambs in January, and our farmer, Richie, was about to begin his yearly search for orphan lambs in the region to rehome. Pet lambs need a lot of care and patience, meaning early starts and late finishes for our team. But watching them grow up and hearing the squeals of excitement from children and adults alike when they visit makes it worthwhile.  

Then Covid happened...

Overnight, these - and many other exciting plans - were scrapped and our farm was forced to close. We hoped it would be over within a few weeks and we could still share the joys of spring with our community. This was not to be and the weeks wore on. 

But all things must pass…

We reopened the farm to the public at the earliest opportunity and with relief, happiness but also some nervousness we eased the farm gates open once again on 4th July. We were moved by the response from you all. You told us how happy you were to be back at the farm, how safe you felt and how much you'd missed the animals. We, and they, had missed you too. You didn’t mind paying a small entrance fee to help us get back on our feet and with those fees, we could make the farm safe and provide free entry for some of those hardest hit by the pandemic.

However, we were quietly struggling...

In those few months of closure, a huge amount of damage had been done - the loss of trading and income over our busy spring season had wiped a third off our income for the year. To save the farm, we took the difficult decision to make redundancies in the summer, losing half our team. And with that, losing our ability to offer many of the things at the farm which you know and love best. Animal petting, lamb feeding, farmer's clubs and educational events which teach your children where food comes from. These are the moments we love most about the farm too - seeing the joy that close encounters with nature and farm life bring to you all. We want to get that back.

So we're asking for your help...

We know that Covid isn't going away soon and that life has changed, for the foreseeable future. But we are adaptable, resilient and we have plans to make spring and summer 2021 really count - to make up for what we all lost this year. We want to bring back those opportunities to interact with our animals and our team, in Covid-safe ways. We know how to do it but we need your help to make it happen.

Raising £5,000 this Christmas would mean we can restore some of these events in spring and summer next year, and get back to being the farm you know and love. We could rehome orphan lambs and run events that offer your family, or your bubble, the chance to be part of their early life. Your support would also enrich our training programmes for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. And it can help us welcome more volunteers to the farm too.

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What your money will support…

We are resourceful and always careful with everything that our community, and nature, gives to us. It costs us £5 to fund travel expenses and lunch for one of our amazing volunteers. £30 is the cost for a full day’s training for Robin or Amy – our inspirational trainees. For £150, we are able to buy enough milk to feed our orphan lambs for the whole of spring. 

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In return…

We promise to make every donation count and work tirelessly to get back to the farm you know and love. All our donors will have their name on our farmyard for the whole of next year. For larger gifts, we have created some rewards including animal sponsorship, commemorative bees and team building days. 

Please support us if you can. We’re a community farm – we depend on each other.

Our Mantra

This is a place for growing.

Plants, fruit and veg, animals, but most of all, people.

We cultivate joy here. And learning.

We nurture self-confidence and a sense of belonging.

You’ll feel it as soon as you walk through our door.

Lives are being enriched. Needs are being nourished.

It couldn’t happen without our volunteers. Or your donations.

We’re a charity. Run for people, not for profits.

A community-spirited place where everyone is welcome. And valued.

This is a happy place.

A wholesome place. A human place.

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£36 or more

Sponsor a small animal at the farm

We have a menagerie of small animals at the farm ranging from guinea pigs to tortoises. For £36, you can sponsor a small animal for a year and receive a certificate of sponsorship as well as seeing your name on our animal sponsor poster at the farm. Email your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk to get your certificate and find out more about animal sponsorship here https://www.ouseburnfarm.org.uk/sponsorananimal

£5 or more

Thank you on social media and on our farmyard

Everyone who pledges £5 or more will get a thank you on facebook and Instagram as well as their name on our Crowdfunder supporters poster on the farmyard.

£10 or more

35 of 100 claimed

Sponsor a tree in our orchard

For £10 you can sponsor a fruit tree in our orchard - pear, plum or apple! We will tie a ribbon to the tree of your choice in our orchard, with your name on and email you a tree sponsor certificate. Just email your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk and we'll do the rest.

£15 or more

Sponsor a training session for vulnerable adults

It costs the farm £15 to run a half-day work experience session for one of our trainees - adults with learning disabilities that come to the farm to learn, connect and grow. Send your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk and we will email you a thank you certificate from our trainees.

£30 or more

Sponsor a training day for vulnerable adults

It costs the farm £30 to run a day's work experience for one of our trainees - adults with learning disabilities that come to the farm to learn, connect and grow. Send your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk and we will send you a thank you certificate from our trainees.

£48 or more

Sponsor a large animal at the farm

We've sheep, pigs, goats and a cow at the farm. For £48, you can sponsor our large animals for a year and receive a certificate of sponsorship as well as seeing your name on our animal sponsor poster at the farm. Email your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk to get your certificate and find out more about animal sponsorship here https://www.ouseburnfarm.org.uk/sponsorananimal

£50 or more

5 of 100 claimed

Bee on our Wall

A £50 pledge will support our work and buy a beautiful Ali Elly bee to display on our Bee Wall. Find out more about the Bee Wall here https://www.ouseburnfarm.org.uk/bee-on-our-wall and email your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk to arrange your Bee and we will email your certificate. The Bee Wall will be open for public view once our cafe reopens after lockdown.

£150 or more

3 of 20 claimed

Pet Lamb Patron

In spring, we rehome pet lambs from around the region. £150 pays for all their milk until they are weaned onto solids. As Pet Lamb Patron - we will send you an engraved, traditional milk bottle with your name on as well as inviting you and your family / bubble to a special lamb feeding session in spring. Send your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk and we will make all the arrangements as well as emailing your certificate.

£500 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Team building day at the farm

For businesses that would like to donate, a £500 pledge will secure a popular team building day at the farm, which can be redeemed as soon as your team is ready. These days give you the opportunity to get involved with an array of farm activities as well as enjoying a delicious farm-grown lunch on site. Send your donation receipt to fundraising@ouseburnfarm.org.uk and we will email your team building voucher and begin discussions about your day.

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