Surrey Docks Farm Response to Covid-19
Surrey Docks Farm is carefully monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and is following government advice to limit the spread. The main Farm site remains closed to visitors while we focus on delivery of wide range of communtiy projects for more vulnerable participants; and until our team are all back from furlough. The Thames path and our river gardens are open daily for access and views on to the goat yard.
Our priorities are ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, maintaining animal care standards and supporting our more vulnerable participants to engage safely here. We also have serious financial concerns to address, our costs continue but income is drastically effected so we are working on new ways to sustain the Farm this year.
We will let you know via our website and social media channels as soon as we have more information about re-opening. Thank you all for your continued support and understanding, we are so grateful for your kind comments and generous donations.
What is the Farm doing?
Here’s an update on what’s been happening recently behind the closed gates:
1. We have opened the Thames path and our river gardens from 10am-4pm every day. So you can also look down through the fence onto our goat yard and duck pond. We’re also delighted to announce The Pear Tree Kitchen have launched a new pop-up cafe from our Orangery room onto the Thames Path! This will serve hot and cold drinks, cakes, pastries, sandwiches and more. The pop-up is open from 10am-4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s from August until the end of November.
2. We have increased volunteer numbers on site per day, welcoming back volunteers who have been off since lockdown and taking on a few new volunteers from our waiting list. This will help us catch up on muck heap maintenance, reclaim overgrown paths and ensure the site is accessible again. We’ve also increased access slots for our plot holders to come in and tend their raised beds.
3. We continue to deliver our online Farm Shop selling eggs and freshly harvested veg, plus our Gardening Shop and have seen over 500 households access this. Thank you for all your support!
4. Our adult students with learning disabilities returned to adapted training projects in August. For most students this was the first time they had left home since March and it’s been fantastic to welcome everyone from Monday-Friday to care for the animals and tend their plots again.
5. In August we also saw the return of our partner projects, such as Southwark’s Youth Offending Service who run carpentry workshops for young people at the Farm.
6. We’re excited to welcome our Young Farmers aged 8-14 back to the Farm in September, coming at the weekends in smaller groups for shorter sessions to reduce risks.
7. We still have a deficit in our annual budget and continue to apply for emergency funding and are working on new income generation plans. We’ve also applied for funding to improve our hand washing facilities around the site and to upgrade the toilets near the shop, to make them easier to deep clean and keep everyone safe on site.
How can you help?
Here are a few ways you can support the Farm through this challenging time:
- Help us raise much needed funds to cover our ongoing animal care costs of £7,000 per month via this donation campaign
- Order a gift from our wishlist such as new brushes, heat lamps for our new lambs/goat kids, seed for the wild birds etc.
- Shop online and buy organic eggs and fresh vegetables from us, pay online and collect from the Farm gates six days a week.
- Interested in growing your own food from home? Visit our gardening shop. We have seed kits, plants, compost and more!
- Keep in touch via our social media sites or send some snail mail – messages of support are always welcome! We might be a little slow responding as we’re prioritising the animals but we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
How can I get in touch?
We are still not able to monitor the Farm phone at present, as everyone at the Farm is working outside. Email is the best form of contact, but please bare with us as we’re getting lots of enquiries at present and are doing our best to keep on top of things!