Wellgate Community Farm exists as a focus for community, creating an opportunity for people to grow, make a positive contribution and promote social cohesion. Committed to providing a safe, inclusive place for individuals and groups to develop emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually within a working farm environment through participation in all aspects of farming life.
As a working farm we sell our own produce including fruit & vegetables, eggs, honey, and meat.
We promote Compassionate Farming and embrace the Five Freedoms within our own animal welfare policy.
Wellgate Community Farm was established in 1982, set up by volunteers as a project to encourage local participation in all aspects of the Farm’s activity. The name Wellgate comes from the two areas the founding volunteers came from; Chadwell Heath and Marks Gate.
The Farm offers local people, schools, and groups an opportunity to experience a working farm and our animals which include a range of animals from cows to guinea pigs.
Our 1.5 acre site was granted to us under a management agreement by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and is located off Collier Row Road, close to City Pavilion (formerly known as Roller Bowl.)
Initially the ground was a wasteland, overgrown with hawthorn bushes and used as a builder’s tip. Local volunteers began to clear the site ready for the first animals to arrive. The site has developed as funds and volunteer resources became available, a tradition which continues today. It is an interesting mix of old and new as we make do and mend and renew when the opportunity arises.
One of the earliest services developed were educational visits; the purchase of a horsebox to provide a mobile service proved so popular that the ‘mobile farm’ remains a thriving part of Farm life today. These mobile visits have allowed us to reach out into the community and it is estimated that education visits both onsite and mobile provide a unique and exciting learning opportunity to over 18,000 young people a year.
The Farm began to offer work experience to school pupils and due to the nature of the farm and the variety of work available we became a popular option for young people with disabilities or special educational needs that would otherwise struggle to find placements. The relationship between the Farm and local comprehensive schools developed and demand for longer term training opportunities grew.
Alongside this the Farm began to offer accredited training for volunteers to give something back to those that support the Farm and to help them move on to further training or employment as appropriate.
Using the experience of the successful delivery of both work placements and training, in 2000 the Farm secured funding for a new project that combined the two and the Hands-On Project was launched in conjunction with Lambourne End.
Over the years the Farm has developed greatly and much has changed, although its principal aim of being a focus for community remains our driving force.