Community is our middle name, and without that community we’re nothing. Whilst we would love to throw our gates open, Wellgate Community Farm will remain unable to reopen to the public for some time yet.
July will see us bring back our staff, Young Farmers, and regular volunteers. Our new online shop (Cluck & Collect) is now open for business at https://shop.wellgatefarm.org.
Wellgate Community Farm has been run by a skeleton crew of volunteers and our plan for reopening is to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Our first task is to bring our furloughed staff back and to bring them up to speed on the new procedures. A lot of those new procedures involve a lot more work than they used to. Our Operations Manager is already back at the helm and most of our other staff will be back over the next week or two.
With our staff back in-post, we can implement new safety measures which will allow us to bring back our regular volunteers and young farmers, and in turn it is only with their support and efforts that we will be able to reopen to the public.
Wellgate is a small site for a farm and has many ‘pinch-points’ where space is limited, we have a lot of work ahead to make changes to our site and facilities before we are able to invite the wider community back in. We appreciate your patience and when we have something to announce to the public it will be here and on our facebook page.
Volunteers and Young Farmers
While we have got a couple of emails out to young farmer parents it has become apparent that communication is not as good as we had thought. While we have emergency contact phone numbers, many of our email addresses for young farmer parents are out of date, or not on the database at all.
If you are a Young Farmer parent/carer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with all your contact details so we can ensure that our records are up to date. We will be contacting families individually, as the days/sessions and how we operate Young Farmers will be subject to changes, especially over the summer.
Cluck & Collect
Cluck & Collect is now live as a pilot service and ready to take orders at https://shop.wellgatefarm.org. We have a range of farm produce, preserves, and compost available. Orders placed today will be available to collect tomorrow afternoon (12-3pm) from the farm gate.
Collection hours are currently limited and PayPal is the only payment method available. We plan to extend our opening hours, and add other payment options including contactless payment on collection, and Visa/Mastercard payments online. As a contactless service, we do not plan to be accepting cash at this time.
Well done to the few of you who spotted that we snuck it onto the web page without fanfare.
Financially we have an estimated loss of income from March, when we closed our gates, to the end of the school term in July of around £67,000 and that represents a major portion of our operating budget.
First off we need to thank the skeleton crew of about 20 trustees, staff, volunteers, and their family members; their generous donation of time and effort has been invaluable.
We thank all our supporters big and small, every penny has helped. We had a huge response to our crowdfunder. The many Young Farmer parents have opted to continue to pay their subs (and if that’s you, don’t forget to email us with your contact details!) Suppliers that have allowed us to furlough our equipment contracts, and generous support from our major donor organisations and project funders that have either extended projects or made additional funds available.
As ever, stay safe and look after one another.